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News from the chapters of The Arc

Successful Daly living skills By Robin Ellington, CLASS / The Arc of Greater Lawrence

Before joining CLASS’s Adult Family Care (AFC) program in 2015, Linda Daly had a lot of stress in her life. She was unemployed, living on a very tight budget in her own apartment, and cared full time for her adult son, Andrew, who was born with Down syndrome.

qualified caregivers and depending on the level of care needed. The caregiver receives in-home supports and training, visits by a care manager and registered nurse for the individual being cared for, and respite care up to 14 days per year.

“At the time, caring for Andrew “Andrew has always depended on me,” was very stressful for her, but now Linda says. “It was becoming more and she looks so much calmer, happier more difficult finding work and I had to because she can manage what she do something.” needs to do,” Bethsabe says. She heard about the AFC program, so she called. “She didn’t believe it, the support and services we offer,” says her Care Manager Bethsabe Cabrera. “It’s easy to be enrolled, but she was anxious at every step, always in a state of disbelief at the support and benefits of our program. She felt she didn’t deserve it.” CLASS’s AFC staff recently celebrated when their 105th family joined the program. The staff coordinates the MassHealth paperwork with the family, including stipend payments for

In the spring, Doug Rasala, RN, the CLASS AFC nurse, detected a health anomaly with Andrew during his monthly in-home visit with Bethsabe. “Doug took Andy’s vitals as usual,” Linda says, “but he noted Andy’s blood pressure was higher. The following month it was still elevated, so I contacted Andrew’s doctor with my concerns.” As recommended by his physician, Linda changed Andrew’s diet. “Cold-cut sandwiches and pickles, I now understand, are high in sodium,”

Doug Rasala, RN, takes Andrew’s vitals during a monthly CLASS AFC in-home visit.

she says. “Increasing Andrew’s water intake also helped.” Andrew’s annual physical in late August showed normal blood pressure. “I have peace of mind and can accept that this is the part of my life I can enjoy,” Linda says. “Now I can plan ahead and say how things are going to be. It’s an incredible feeling I haven’t had in a long time. I don’t have anxiety; I catch up with people and I get to go out to lunch. I get to laugh. “But one thing hasn’t changed,” she says, smiling. “I’m still Andrew’s mother.”

Minute Man Arc Teams Up with Quiet Logistics with donors giving their time, talent or treasure. One local company, Quiet Logistics (QL), is going well beyond conventional giving practices by hiring 30 people with disabilities through Minute Man Arc’s Employment Program. Minute Man Arc client Morgan Gallagher folds boxes for Quiet Logistics fulfillment.

Support for people with intellectual disabilities comes in many forms

Achieve with us.

The relationship between Minute Man Arc and QL began with a simple introduction by Senator

James Eldridge. What followed was the creation of a small work crew comprised of a few individuals with developmental disabilities who folded specialized boxes for mailing high-end products. Fast forward six years; today there is a growing team of nearly three dozen individuals who take great pride in their work at QL. Just like anyone else, these workers enjoy the continued on page 26


Advocate Winter 2018  
Advocate Winter 2018