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Thread: Independent Living Centers - other options if over 59?

  1. #1

    Independent Living Centers - other options if over 59?

    Recently I discovered an Independent Living Center just a few minutes away from where my Dad lives. He got his SCI at age 65.

    I was really eager to visit the center to get their advice on more accessible living options for my father. They also have a resource of "trained" home care workers, who they help manage and seem to be more reliable/experienced because of this.

    Unfortunately, they weren't helpful. They told me they are a resource for people under 59 only. Wouldn't even share any advice. They referred me to local resources for the "elderly" in our area. These other resources are not experienced at all with SCI/wheelchair users/more serious disability, and have not been helpful at all.

    This really disappointed me.

    I can't believe there is a place that could help just down the street from us..... which in theory understands what accessibility truly means....and they wont help us.

    Recently, I visited an assisted living facility that is primarily for retirees. Of course, no wheelchair accessible bathrooms in the apartments..... and no independent wheelchair users like my Dad. Even more surprising.... the guy who ran the place admitted to me that when he started working there the "resident board" sat him down for a meeting to explain the type of environment they wanted at their facility. "We don't want old people in walkers and wheelchairs.... blah blah blah....." What the hell? I couldn't believe he actually said that to me. He then went on to say he wanted to try to change that..... and seemed a little apologetic. But did he really think I was going to listen to anything he had to say after telling me that my father would be living among people openly antagonistic to those with disability?

    SCI sucks, aging sucks, and aging with a SCI sucks.

    Ok, I feel a little better.
    Last edited by hlh; 01-26-2012 at 02:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Hi "hlh,"
    I am truly sorry you found age discrimination at you local Independent Living Center (ILC). Many years ago, I served on the board of an ILC and I can guarantee you that our center served anyone with a disability regardless of age. It was clearly addressed in our Mission Statement. It would be interesting to know where you live and which ILC you talked to, because I just can't imagine any ILC that has an overt age discrimination policy.

    If I were you, I would ask to speak to or get an appointment to meet with the Executive Director of this ILC.

    There may be another resource in your area that is specifically for older people with disabilities. These organizations are federal and state government funded and are known as Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC). Try searching your local phone book or do a internet search to see if one of the centers is available in to you

    All the best,
    GJ

  3. #3
    Thanks for your input gjnl. It was one of the ILC in suburban Chicago.

    They tried to block me from the moment of entry. Their receptionist asked me to explain what I needed initially, and blocked me immediately.... Not for your father. Too old. I pushed gently, and finally insisted someone talk to me just so I could ask some general questions. Met with someone briefly who was nice, wouldn't give any specific info, and I was given a name of someone to call to make an appointment. When I called, they tried to block me again.... and finally I firmly insisted I was told to make an appointment. Went to appointment today.... nice woman, listened as I told our story. Stated resources were only for those less then 59.... tried to refer me to ?Catholic charities. I wasn't even asking for anything that we wouldn't pay for ourselves. Information information.... from someone who understands accessibility was what I really needed.

    I was so upset I finally just got up and left.

    It always amazes me on this site when people suggest their ILCs as a resource. I have only had disappointing experiences. When my father was still hospitalized and couldn't return to his wheelchair inaccessible home, I called the Chicago ILC for recommendations on finding truly accessible housing. You know what they said? "It's really hard.... good luck!" No appointment.

    It also upsets me because it is my understanding that these organizations are funded by the public.

    But one thing I have learned.... more from doctors then from support agencies.... is never force anyone to "help" you. If they don't want to help you, then you probably will not benefit from their "help". Or worse, they may give you bad advice or poor care. Move on.....

    Getting a little cynical, ya think?

  4. #4

  5. #5
    I know what you mean. I have found my local ILC/CIL to be uselss unless you receive Medicaid. The other counties have good ILC's but will not offer assistance or advice as you don't live in the county.

    It's beyond frustrating, but keep fighting.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  6. #6
    Thanks again for your input, and for the links gjnl.

    Thanks for telling me your experience Liz. It helps, and you both encouraged me to push a little more.

    I actually sent email letters of complaint to the state Director of ILC and to the state Director for programs for Aging and Disability (whatever that means).

    Interestingly, the Illinois ILC website does say it is their Mission to serve all patients with disability. Doesn't mention age. It even has picture of a "senior" in a wheelchair....

    I think I would have been a little bit less upset if the ILC nearby was very busy... but this place had a large staff and it was deserted except for me, every time I was there or walked by.

    I think I am going to start stopping some of the wheelchair users I see on the street and ask them for local accessibility questions. Usually I don't like to intrude with strangers I don't know, but only someone else in a wheelchair would understand.

    So if I bother you on the street next week.... sorry!

  7. #7
    I look forward to hearing about the responses you get from your letters and inquiries on age discrimination by the ILC. One other point that might be worth pursuing is that all ILCs are non profit agencies and are prohibited from this type of discrimination by rules and regulations that govern non profits.

    All the best,
    GJ

  8. #8
    The ILC appears to violate the Law;

    http://www.silcofillinois.org/about.html

    The Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, disability or religion in its programs and activities.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    I look forward to hearing about the responses you get from your letters and inquiries on age discrimination by the ILC. One other point that might be worth pursuing is that all ILCs are non profit agencies and are prohibited from this type of discrimination by rules and regulations that govern non profits.

    All the best,
    GJ
    It is ironic the agencies put in place give us "help" instead give the hardest time at times...
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Liz321 View Post
    It is ironic the agencies put in place give us "help" instead give the hardest time at times...
    Indeed!!!

    All the best,
    GJ

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