Top o’ the Mornin to you all!
Wow, just got back from a fantastic weekend in Sedona with my friend Steve who I will write an entire post about as he’s been an absolute angel to me these last few weeks. I bugged him all weekend taking photos of him so I’d have plenty of good ones for my entry..stay tuned. 😉
First off, the weather report on Alfonse is good today. He didn’t communicate much with me this weekend but he did answer the phone Sunday for both my Dad and I and sounded MUCH better. Often the barometer on his acuity for me is what he makes himself for dinner. He told me he’d looked up a recipe on “Safari” to make a “tuna noodle casserole” which is an indicator he’s doing on the better side. 🙂 Things are looking up!
I drove back from Sedona and went straight to my appointment with the lawyer, Chick Arnold.
I called my Dad as soon as I pulled out of the parking lot saying “I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”.
And it’s Chick Arnold sitting in that pot. I know this pic is corny and I just can’t help it.
He’s worked in mental health law for 40 years in major ways, literally writing law in the State of AZ to protect and help the mentally ill. He knows EVERYTHING about services and support for mentally ill persons in our State.
I met with him for 90 minutes furiously writing notes and sinking deeper and deeper in to my chair with relaxation and reassurance. Not only can he represent both John and I with issues like Wills and Power of Attorney (guardianship is not an issue here thank goodness for both of us) but he was a wealth of information about services I had no idea existed.
I am renewed with such a sense of hope and relief for both John and I and our future. People have walked this path before us and run in to the same issues we are running in to and guess what? They create systems to deal with them! Or people with jobs to fill certain cracks! Everyone has their purpose on this planet and for some people, providing support for the disenfranchised is their reason for living. And we can hook up with them!
I need to do some follow up research with some of these programs and people he hooked me up with but there’s a whole other parallel universe going on that we’ve yet to tap in to. And this man is going to guide our ship. He also gave me some worksheets for both John and I to start thinking about issues related to creating wills and POA.
What a beautiful, helpful person! He gave me a big hug as I left and after I thanked him for about the 8th time calling him an “angel” he replied “no, thank YOU, you are giving my purpose in life a place to do it’s work”. Wow. I know just how he feels though as that’s exactly how I feel about my line of work as well.
In case anyone is reading who is local and needs this resource, his name is Charles “Chick” Arnold and here’s his site:
From his Bio:
Chick has so dedicated his practice to the legal needs of individuals with mental illnesses and other disabilities such that it was once noted “Chick is to the mentally ill of Arizona what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was to African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.”
I’m sure I could get a referral for your area too as this guy is very connected in this specific field.
Chick also told me about this organization which meets some exact needs we’ve been concerned about with John. Such, as if anything happened to me, what would happen to him?
Through its care management services, Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Arizona – PLAN of AZ, seeks to improve the lives of people living with a mental illness and/or any lifelong disability. By working with each person to develop a support network unique to his or her needs; encouraging independence, stability, and security while enhancing quality of life. As part of the Personal Care Plan development process, PLAN of AZ is able to evaluate current benefits and apply for others that may be available, such as Social Security, food stamps and Medicaid. We assist clients in finding housing, managing their finances, and coordinating transportation and recreation opportunities, as well as monitoring personal needs.
PLAN of AZ maintains contact and coordinates services with social workers, psychiatrists, medical personnel, attorneys, trustees, banks and other service providers. Each client’s services are custom tailored to meet his/her individual needs. Our private case managers can schedule periodic visits to clients, listen to client’s concerns and those of their families, and maintain a flexible approach to the client’s needs with a focus on individual strengths.
It would basically provide a network of support for him doing the job I do now if I wasn’t here (God forbid) to care for him in the ways that I do. Also they can step in if I go away for a vacation or something and be there as a backup support system.
I’m so grateful for this referral to this attorney and all that’s coming with it. I’m still just kind of blown away!
I’ll continue to post anything I learn along these lines that others might find helpful as well as times goes on.
Oh and just as an addendum to my last post, the reader who wrote me with concerns about John’s “right to privacy” and “losing his rights” has decided to stop reading here out of feeling “too uncomfortable” with the way I write about him.
I replied with a simple “thank you” and meant it. I think it’s good when anyone knows their limits and boundaries and sets them for themself. Sometimes I think people get caught up in power struggles in situations where it’s really that they are looking to “win” in some way or insist on change in another person in order to feel something. I just won’t get caught up in that kind of thing. I know what I’m doing, it’s importance to me and others and I’m going to keep doing it.
Anywhere on the internet is not required reading. So I say move along and find a place where you do feel comfortable!
As I love my food analogies, if I was a Chef who had a patron telling me my cooking wasn’t to their liking and how I needed to improve but I had a house full of satisfied diners, I’d also ask them to find another restaurant. It’s pretty simple.
So no worries, I’m here to stay. And it is what it is and you get what you get.
Hopefully you like it or learn something or are just entertained.
I’m learning and growing and feeling relief and support with every keystroke. And this is my house so, it’s a good thing I feel that way, right?
Stay tuned….STEVE will be my next entry. And he deserves one all on it’s own. Trust me, you’ll understand why.