Ken Marshall is a very friendly and personable 70 year old man living with a disability in Fairport, NY. Prior to living in his current home, Ken lived with his wife of 20 years in various supportive apartments in Rochester and working a variety of jobs in the community through sheltered employment services. Ken has always taken pride in his ability to be on his own with support. He has had no contact with family for a long while, but over the years has developed relationships with close friends he considers family.
Several years after Ken’s wife passed, his team felt that Ken was having more difficulty expressing himself and his needs, and began to see a decline in his ability to care for himself as he once had. Ken has some chronic health issues that also required more attention as he began to get older. Recognizing these changes and the need for more support in his daily life, Ken agreed to The Arc New York becoming his guardian in 2011.
Ken struggled with feelings of loss, not only of his wife, but also of some of his independence in doing the things he had one done for so many years on his own. As Ken’s health concerns grew, the need for support of his team became crucial to his success. He understands the role of guardianship and will call to seek input or guidance when needed with regard to important decisions in his life.
When faced with knee pain, Ken advocated for surgery. As a result of the surgery Ken became very ill and was hospitalized. Terri Lazeski, Guardianship Advocate, visited Ken at the hospital daily, and about Ken’s experience says, “Throughout this time and during his recovery process, he never gave up and persevered forward with this amazing ‘Can Do’ spirit about him. Those who know Ken well greatly admire his strength and determination. He’s truly an inspiration and an absolute joy to know!”
Guardianship advocates and committee
The Guardianship Advocates, along with the Guardianship Committee of volunteers, worked with Ken to assure that he was afforded every opportunity to advocate for himself, to learn the risks and benefits of medic al procedures, and to make decision to the best of his abilities. Guardianship has been a critical part of allowing Ken to keep his independence and dignity. Ken has grown to trust that the Guardianship program will allow him that freedom, but also serve as a means of support and advocacy when necessary.
Ken has recently expressed his desire to begin volunteering again. Terri Lazeski says, “I love his willingness to want to strive to be better and do for others. Ken is currently working towards this goal. He wishes to be able to return to being a part of some sort of volunteer opportunity and helping others in the community.” The Guardianship Advocates and Committee are currently looking at volunteer opportunities with him.
Ken has developed a wonderful relationship of trust with the Guardianship staff and volunteers. Ken and Terri have developed such rapport that he calls her each day to say hello and update her on how he’s doing. Thanks to the support of the Arc’s Guardianship team Ken is much happier.
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