Our consumers are the heart of what we do here at NWGA Center for Independent Living. These quotes and stories come from them, and are our true measures of success.
RD is a consumer who is deaf/blind, and lives in Whitfield County. When we first met him, his wife was in a nursing facility for rehabilitation (she is home with him now). A concerned person told him about us, and we have been working with him on his goals of remaining in the community and communications. With our referral and working with other resources, he received a computer this month and now has an email account. Here is what he wrote:
“…think about you a lot cause u try help me, lot to do for blind and deaf, it was so wonderful of u and thank u, also missed u too [and] like ur dog !”
Update on this consumer, as of 12/6/2015:
His newest goal of personal resource management was met in December when he received his EBT card and food stamp benefits. Following is the email of 12/16/2015 that was sent to staff: “I GOT FOOD STAMPS SET UP AND MY NEW PIN NUMBER, SO I HAVE A POSITIVE BALANCE NOW. SO, THAT’S GREAT. AND I WOULD LIKE TO HUG YOU I’M SO GLAD. LOL! TALK TO YOU SOON, KATHY. RD”
This letter came to us from the mother of a consumer that we assisted in building a ramp for her home:
“To Whom It May Concern,
My daughter Heather Davis is 37 years old and has Spina Bifida. She is paralyzed from the waist down and is in a wheelchair. The home we live in was not wheelchair accessible and due to her size and my age it has become unsafe to try to get her out of the house for appointments and in the event of an emergency. I contacted NWGACIL to see if there was any assistance available. In a very short period of time they came to my aid and funded the materials to build a wheelchair ramp. Their help has been deeply appreciated. Their compassion and assistance has enabled me to provide a safe home for my daughter and let her be able to be more independent.
JK is a 64 year old gentleman who lives in Floyd County. He has had a stroke, and his family asked for assistance from us in getting a ramp built for his home. He did not want to go into a nursing facility. In our providing materials for the ramp, we also helped JK’s mother as well.
Staff had been talking with JK’s brother; his brother said, “The ramp assisted my brother & mother to be more independent to be able to go to different appointments & activities in the community.” He also said, “Without the ramp, it would be harder to get them out of the house in case of a fire; the ramp has given us less stress if that occurs.” His family was really appreciative of the assistance that we could provide for this ramp. His brother also said, “With the graciousness of your organization, we are able to support my brother & mother’s need to be more independent.”
CM is an elderly woman who resides in Murray County. She said, “Before the ramp, I had to reschedule a couple of doctor appointments.” She also said, “Before I got the ramp, I had to get assistance to go down the front steps backwards and when I got back, I had to walk & pull myself up the steps by using the rail.”
After the assistance from NWGA CIL for materials and from New Hope Ministries for labor to build a ramp for her, she said, “I am able to get out of my house to be able to make doctor appointments along with being able to go out into my community to do personal errands.”
K.T. of Floyd County contacted our center, and here is her story:
“I moved … back in February of 2015. I had no way of getting in and out in my Jazzy chair. Only the hope that I could get help in building a ramp. A group called Northwest Georgia Center for Independent Living was referred to me. I applied for help with them. And thank God my prayers were answered. They donated the funds [for materials] to build me a ramp. Now I can get in and out.
“Kimberly Bolt is the director for The Pickens County Senior Center. She called to find out if we had something that could help some of her seniors see printed material better. Maia and I had an interagency meeting in Jasper on 3/27/2015, so we took the CCTV and went by the Sr. Center. We met some of the participants and left the CCTV with Kimberley.” – Kathy Baker, ILC
From an email from Consumer S.D. of Gordon county:
“I got my new hearing aids yesterday! And they’re amazing! Tiny with powerful sounds!!! The ear molds go deep into the ear canal n fit perfectly. Very comfortable. The hearing aids r very tiny with tiny tubes going from the aids to the ear molds. I can barely feel them n haven’t experienced the aches of having big modes n aids! I’m really happy with these n best of all, NO brain feedback of phantom sounds like radio station and constant, repeating country music. They’re really awesome!!!! Thanks so much for helping me apply. Have a great day!”
RH is an elderly man living in the Whitfield County area who has a disability of arthritis. Before NWGA CIL assisted him, he was at risk of going into a nursing facility.
His family contacted NWGA CIL to ask for assistance with materials to build a ramp, and his family constructed it. The ramp is now up and working well for him.
With the assistance of his ramp, RH is able to go out into the community. His wife said: “Before the ramp, it was hard to get him in/out of the house to go to doctor’s appointments.” She added: “Our program is a great program to assist persons with disabilities.”
LW is a 54-year-old woman who has diabetes and heart disease. She resides in Dade County. The ramp that was at her home did not meet ADA specifications, and her family asked NWGA CIL for assistance to buy materials to be able to have a safer, more reliable ramp. NWGA CIL was able to provide the materials, and her family built the ramp. She said, “I feel more secure with this ramp than I did with the existing ramp that we had at my home.”
She also said, “I am able to get out of my home to go into my yard and be able to watch the grand kids play along with doing activities with them as well.” She also said, “I am able to sit on my porch and enjoy the outside; I can also go on different errands more independently.”
CC is an Hispanic female who lives in Bartow County with a physical disability. Her husband contacted the center to find out if we could assist with doing a ramp. He said: “I am unable to get her out of the house for doctor appointments.”
With collaboration with a group of many churches. Church members from six congregations in Cartersville worked together in this day of service called Operation Inasmuch. The six churches were: The Bridge, The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Faith United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Heritage Baptist Church, and Sam Jones United Methodist Church. We were able to assist with the ramp materials. Her husband said: “Now with the ramp, she is able to make doctor appointments.”
Consumer H.D. achieved her independent living goal of getting a new wheelchair ramp for her home! NWGA CIL partnered with the family for assistance. The addition of a ramp to a home is a key component in maintaining mobility and independence for individuals who use wheelchairs. This can sometimes be a daunting task, however we are able to assist many in achieving these goals. We are very happy to see H.D. using her wheelchair ramp to go in and out of her home!
Consumer C.N. was in a nursing home in Catoosa County. Was trying to find a place to live, but everything had a waiting list. Gave a nurse money for a deposit on a place, but when MFP went to look at it, they got her money back as it was falling apart. “MFP found me a place in Lafayette and helped me get everything I needed to live on my own. I appreciate all the time and help that people gave me to help me get out. I love it.”
Here are some comments on how NWGA Center for Independent Living helped our consumers lead more independent lives in in 2012:
Very helpful and appreciated everything…Staff helped me to recognize that I needed help and what kind of help I needed…Made it possible for my husband to get in and out of shower easily… NWGA CIL is doing a great service for the disabled and very well appreciated… I have a lot of respect for them…Terrific people…Appreciate what they did for me…If I need anything I can call. Also to feel more secure knowing they are there…To come and go the freedom to get in and out of the house…Accessibility to home…Get the help I needed…Made possible to get in and out of shower…Helped me to get ramp…Helped with equipment I needed…To be independent…To sit up, move around, drive car, and sit up and eat in my chair…Helped with shower chair…Made me feel better about myself…Ramp…Get a chair…Find employment…Helped me to do for myself…To be able to get out of house.
*Disclaimer: Photos, quotes and stories seen here have been published with written permission of the individual.