#bfair2DirectCare

#bFair2DirectCare

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A Message from The President/ CEO of The Arc of Monroe, Barbara Wale For nearly eight years, non-profit agencies which serve New Yorkers with developmental disabilities went without a funding increase. To address this issue, #bFair2DirectCare formed and waged a statewide educational campaign to win funding for a living wage, phased in over six years. In 2017, Governor Cuomo made the commitment to a six year plan for the state to provide an increase in wages for direct support professionals. When fully implemented, the living wage for a DSP would be roughly $16.40/hour upstate. The first two years of the plan were …

Getting around Rochester with a disability

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What do you do when you need to go somewhere in Rochester?  You use your car and drive, right?  This is not an option for everyone, including people who have disabilities. How about public transportation? People with disabilities often depend on public transportation to get them places they need, like work, or want to be, like the movies.  But what happens if you don’t live near a bus line?  What if your wheelchair doesn’t fit up the ramp to the bus?  What if you want to be spontaneous about going somewhere? For people with disabilities transportation involves hours of planning …

Music and Alzheimer’s

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Benefits of music A quick google search can bring you any number of articles, stories, or videos about how music can and does benefit people across all populations, not excluding those who are aging or who have disabilities like those we support here at the Arc. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America says that, “When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function and coordinate motor movements.” Madeformovement.com states “It can be relaxing, spark certain feelings and increase quality of life. For people with disabilities, music has several advantages and can help to develop mental, physical …

Shelley VanLare

Are you heart healthy?

Health and Wellness 1 Comment

February is Heart Health month!  How much do you know about keeping your heart healthy? Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men  and women in the US.  About 600,000 americans die from heart disease every year.  Heart disease is the term used for several types of heart problems. Am I at risk? 47% of American adults have at least one of the three major risk factors – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking tobacco.  The more risk factors the higher the risk for developing heart disease.  Other risks are diabetes, not exercising, unhealthy diet, obesity and …

Independent Living: Brandy’s Story

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Brandy moved from Clarissa Street to Fernwood Park in 2015.  This was at a time that more person centered supports were being adopted by The Arc Monroe and direct care for Brandy meant more opportunities for her to assume responsibility and the associated risks, especially in an independent apartment setting. Soon after she moved to Fernwood, Brandy expressed her desire to visit a close friend in Chicago, Illinois.  She worked to earn her independence with her medication administration, saved her money for her ticket and with all the groundwork laid for daily communication and ensuring Brandy’s safety in case of …

Autism and aging

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The number of people with autism who are entering elderhood is rising dramatically.  Much of the research to date on autism has been focused on children, not on older adults.  As the number of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are on the autism spectrum increase, we as professionals supporting them need to be aware of what is happening to them so we can assist them in leading their best life. REMEMBER:  as all of us age, we become more of whom and what we were as youngsters!  Tendencies and personality traits can become more intense as we age, …

A good job

Stories Of People We Support Leave a Comment

Meet Mike Kirchoff who started his job at ArcWorks, a division of the Arc of Monroe, twenty years ago.  ArcWorks is the contract manufacturing facility on Lyell Avenue in Rochester, NY. A typical day Mike works on the operations floor in assembly.  He works full time Monday through Friday.  A typical day starts at 8:30a when he arrives on the operations floor.  He is hands-on until 10a when he joins a group of colleagues who volunteer locally, cook together, or visit a park.  Mike is back out on the floor after lunch from 12:30 to 3:30. Recently ArcWorks was contracted to …

A living wage for Direct Support Professionals

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Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide around-the-clock care to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are professionals who are highly trained in a wide variety of critical areas that include administering medications, giving first aid and CPR, de-escalating dangerous situations, behavioral intervention, and providing for the safety of those they support. Despite the high demands of this job, these dedicated staff do not earn a living wage. Direct Support Professionals make between $10 and $13 per hour. The living wage in New York State is $15.44. What is a living wage? Families and individuals working in low-wage jobs make insufficient …

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Mike’s “Rotten” Life

Stories Of People We Support

Mike George was born with a quite-treatable heart condition, and some routine surgery when he was nine months old was botched, impairing oxygen flow to his brain, and reducing his cognitive function.   It would be easy to say Mike has had a rotten life.  Taken from his mother’s arms within hours of birth and moved to another hospital; surgery the second day of his life; five more heart surgeries; drilling into his skull to alleviate a subdural hematoma; gallbladder surgery.  Cognitive impairment when he had awesome genes and awesome potential.   But Mike’s “rotten” life is the only thing …

Add Volunteering to your New Years Resolutions

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It’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions!  How about volunteering more?  Here are 10 reasons to start volunteering: It’s beneficial to get involved in your community Meet new people Give back to an organization that has helped you personally That natural sense of accomplishment May help advance your career Helping those in need makes you feel good Provides a sense of purpose Learn new skills Gain a whole new perspective Make a difference Finding the right volunteer opportunity What type of organization would you like to be involved with?  Are there particular skills you want to use or learn? …