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As LINC’s Aging and Disability Coordinator, I work every day to bring people with disabilities together with the resources they need to live life on their own terms, to the fullest degree they aspire to. Those resources may include other people to assist them with necessary tasks of daily living, equipment to help them do what they want to do, guidance in understanding the way “The System” works or connections to other programs and services they may not have been aware of before.
Through the Personal Assistant Referral Program I coordinate, a person with a disability (also called a “Consumer”) is provided with a list of Personal Assistants (referred to as “PAs”) who have been recruited by LINC, background checked and then trained to understand the expected relationship between a Consumer and a PA. The Consumer contracts with the PA of his or her choice to hire them and the PA is paid through a program run by Illinois’ Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS). The Consumer controls the work relationship with the PA, not LINC.
The Assistive Equipment Loan Program, which I administer as well, provides items such as wheelchairs, walkers, transfer benches, and bedside commodes (to name just a few of them) to people who need them. Equipment can be loaned on either a short-term basis, while someone is waiting for Medicare/Medicaid to fulfill a doctor’s order for it, for example, or a longer-term basis, if there is some reason why Medicare/Medicaid cannot provide it or the person does not qualify for such coverage.
Other work that I do may not have an official job description or program name but it is, nonetheless, integral to the way I seek to bring meaning to Linc’s vision and purpose. In recent weeks, I have assisted in filing the paperwork necessary for a gentleman to get Social Security Disability/Supplemental Security Income benefits, helped open the doors for a couple to receive community-based financial assistance, worked to make it possible for a woman about to be homeless find a suitable place to live and provided low-or-no cost prescription information to a woman I was also guiding through the Medicaid application maze. It’s all just in a day’s work – doing what is necessary so the people I work with, whose lives touch my life as I touch theirs, can live life to the fullest!
If you or someone you know could benefit from these services, feel free to call me at 618-235-9988, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at the Swansea office address. And, please, watch this space for further information (any suggestions are welcome, too).