In Search of a Caregiver

I recently saw the following post in a private Facebook group for residents of my city: “Wanted ASAP: Live-in caregiver for adult woman with Cerebral Palsy and a developmental disability. Clearances mandatory. PM me for details.”  It gave me pause.  My first thought was that of concern for the person in need of caregiving.  To me, this situation seemed ripe for an ill-intentioned person to possibly take advantage, either physically or financially.   Surely, there are safer ways to connect with a qualified, potential caregiver – or not.  Was I being overly cautious and out of touch?  I am perfectly comfortable with people seeking other types of services on social media.  Is caregiving any different?  I asked Care Coordinator Janelle Leonard for her thoughts.  Here’s what she said:

Keep reading ...
seniors lunch

My Community Meal

Have you or an elder loved one thought about participating in a community meal program? Are you nervous about attending for the first time by yourself? Do you have some doubts about the food quality? I had the opportunity to participate in the hot lunch program at the North Olmsted Senior Center this week and, if you have ever had these concerns, I thought you might benefit from learning about my experience.

Keep reading ...
white house logo

The White House Monthly Disability Call

The White House hosts monthly calls regarding updates on various disability issues.  It is also an opportunity to become familiar with people who work on disability issues for the Federal Government.  The calls are off the record and not for press purposes.

On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. ET, Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to  the President on Disability Issues, will host the next monthly call.  The topic is the President’s budget as it relates to people with disabilities.

Dial in for listeners (US): 800-288-8974
Title: White House Disability Call (use instead of code)
For live captioning at the time of the call, click here.

Keep reading ...

Health Care Reform and Families with Special Needs

Family Voices is partnering with Georgetown University on a research study to track how health reform is affecting families, and, in particular, families who have children with special health care needs.  Participants will take part in two hour-long interviews about their child’s health care coverage.  Data will be used to to inform policy makers about the effectiveness of early health care reform.  All participants will remain anonymous and information shared is confidential.  Compensation is available for participating in the project.

For more information, please contact Brooke Lehmann ( or 202-333-2770) or Janis Guerney ( or 202-546-0558) and include your name, address, phone number and a brief explanation of the circumstances you are facing.

Keep reading ...

Direct Deposit for Social Security Checks

The following is from the Greater Cleveland Volunteers newsletter:

Are you one of the people who wait patiently by your mailbox on a certain day each month, hoping for the arrival of your Social Security check? And hope that the check actually comes on the expected day? Well, there is an alternative that is definitely safer and more reliable – Direct Deposit. It protects millions of people from fraud and identity theft and gives them more control over their schedules and money.

Keep reading ...

Preparing for an Emergency

Yesterday’s storm left our house without power for about five hours.  I knew my 80-something neighbor “Ann” was safe and sound, but I was concerned for others on our street.  Was the elderly couple two doors down okay?  How would the man who uses the lift across the street be able to get into or out of his house?  Would the people without phone service be able to communicate with loved ones to let them know they’re okay?

Keep reading ...

Computer Classes for Older Adults

A few years ago, my grandfather purchased his first computer.  He primarily used it to keep in touch with friends and research various topics of interest.  Recently, he cancelled his Internet service and gave the computer away.  When I asked him why he discontinued using what I consider a necessary device in life, he said, “I never could grasp the nomenclature.  What’s the difference between a blog and an e-mail?  I don’t know how to open attachments.  I’m tired of getting jokes and drug offers.  It just became too frustrating to use anymore.”  I thought this was a shame.  He’s missing out on so much!

Keep reading ...

A Chance Meeting

While at the grocery store yesterday, I casually noticed two women chatting next to the salad bar.  They appeared to be friends who ran into each other while shopping.  When I approached, the younger of the two left, leaving the older woman alone.  The woman appeared to be in her late 70’s and seemed rather pleasant.  As I worked my way around the various salad accoutrements, the woman followed me, commenting on the quality of the produce, raving about the weather, and sharing her secret ingredient for ambrosia salad.

Keep reading ...

Taxpayers with Disabilities

Last night, I happily completed and submitted my federal, state, and local tax forms.  I’m one of the few people who actually like preparing my taxes.  I like the organization of collecting the various W-2s and 1099s.  I appreciate the precision of entering the data and double-checking my numbers.  I revel in the brief, unknowing wait as the system calculates my (fingers crossed!) refund or amount owed.  And, if I have to refer to the IRS with a question, it’s pure bliss.  Ah, the joys of tax season!

Keep reading ...

Services for Older Adults

My neighbor “Ann” is 85, but she has the energy of a 25-year old.  She leaves her house every day before I do and often comes home at 11:30 p.m. when I am in bed.  She takes trips to Vegas that sound as though they were the basis for the popular “what happens in Vegas” commercial series.  She has the sense of humor of an experienced stand-up comic and I can only imagine some of the stories she tells of her escapades.  I am continually amazed at her spunk and vitality.

Keep reading ...

Hickman & Lowder is Going Green

Hickman & Lowder recently became a Certified Green Law Firm through the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.  To become certified, participating law firms must commit to taking concrete steps toward reducing their energy consumption and paper usage.  Some components of our certification plan include using compact fluorescent bulbs, printing on both sides of the paper when feasible, recycling paper, cardboard, plastic, and cans, and turning off lights and powering down equipment when not in use.  The goal is to reduce overall consumption by 10%.

Keep reading ...

Upcoming COPAA Events

I usually don’t have the opportunity to come into contact with our clients on a first-hand basis.  My role is primarily behind the scenes within the firm.  So, I especially enjoy the few occasions each year when I am able to interact with clients.  One such occasion occurred last fall prior to a local conference.  Several of our attorneys were conference speakers or organizers and I became involved by taking some participant reservations.  All of the participants with whom I spoke were parents of children with disabilities.  Each expressed great interest in gaining as much information as possible, connecting with resources, and networking opportunities with other parents.

Keep reading ...