Community News

December 2022

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A New Home for Oscar

Shirley Rogers
Keene, NH

I hear a cat meow when I get to my apartment door. It makes me happy to hear him meow. I think he is saying welcome home, I missed you. Oscar lives with me now. He is a great cat. I love him and I am happy he lives with me. Oscar is a little confused - he is 16, and he knew me before he lived here. I used to spend a lot of time with him and was training him to sit on my lap. He is not a cat that sits on everybody’s lap. He is a smart cat and takes time to get used to people.

He spends a lot of time under my bed. That is his safe place. He has many beds around my apartment, and he sleeps in some of them, but he mostly sleeps under my bed. He likes his basket on my big windowsill. I like it when he sleeps there. I like it most when he sleeps on my pillow behind my head. I love it when I feel him patting my hair with his paw. He sleeps at the foot of my bed too. One bed that he loves attaches to the window next to my living room chair.

I am careful with Oscar. I do not try to pick him up and force him to sit on my lap. I know he doesn’t like that. He jumps up next to me when I sit on my bed or in my chair and I get to pat him. When he is ready, he will sleep on my lap. It is never good to force or trick animals or people to do anything you know they do not want to do. So, I don’t do it. I want him to trust me and know he is safe. The best way to live is to feel loved, happy, and safe. I hope he feels that way soon. I am happy he lives with me now. It will take time for him to love it here too. 
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Dinner with Fine Gentlemen

Heather Hannafin, Chief Operating Officer
Westbrook, ME

Joey, James, Alex, and Creed were so kind to invite Stephanie Harmon, interim manager, to dinner. These men assured me that they have the BEST cook working in their home, our wonderful, Noel Malonda. Stephanie was lucky enough to join in the nightly festivities with these wonderful gentlemen. The dinner review was 5 stars! Thank you, Noel, for providing healthy and delicious food! And thank you, Stephanie for capturing your dinner visit.

Our Very Own Platinum Cruiser

Autumn McDonald, FI Coordinator
Plattsburg, NY

I had the opportunity to meet David Nephew and learn about his travels as a Platinum Cruiser. He enjoys taking numerous trips each year. Due to the pandemic, his travels were postponed for 2 years but he finally set sail again in September, from New York City aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines, headed for Bermuda. David was accompanied for the first time by his Direct Support Specialist, Tammy Baker.

While in Bermuda, David and Tammy explored the island on a 21-mile bus tour. The island offered a variety of shops. David bought a new watch and a gold necklace at one of the shops they had visited. The island was very clean, but no pink beach sand was to be found as noted as a tourist attraction. The weather was beautiful, and they both enjoyed themselves.

David is a very experienced Platinum cruise member, with this being his 14th cruise under his belt. While on his Bermuda cruise he enjoyed numerous activities that are offered to the guests. David attended a comedy show, a Deal or No Deal show, played bingo, and did a bit of gambling. He experienced a variety of fine dining. While relaxing, he drank soda at the bar while listening to music, which he enjoyed very much.

His future travel plan include going to Arizona in late May 2023. In the meantime, he will be wintering in Florida with his family.
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Angela Does Ceramics!

Katie Epstein, Direct Support Professional
Lodonderry, NH

I really enjoy spending time with Angela for so many reasons. During her day program, she has made many friends from a variety of other programs in the Seacoast Area. At a visit to the YMCA, we learned about a ceramics class at the recreation department in Epping.

Angela will try something new at least once, so we tried it and loved it! Once a week, late October through November, she picked out the object she wanted to paint, usually an animal, and picked out the colors she wanted to use. The instructor, Julie, was very helpful during this process. Then Angela painted the entire object with a base coat, making sure there was no white left. Next, was a technique called dry brushing (this is painting without using the water), to bring out the details of the animal. Angela is becoming a pro with the base coat and learned new skills by asking for assistance during the dry brushing part. The whole process took about an hour, and while Julie applied a magic spray to make it shine and dry faster, Angela cleaned up and said goodbye to the rest of the class. She picked up her masterpiece on her way out.

Seaside Getaway

Lynn Rowe, Direct Support Professional
Keene, NH

Our man, Shawn, had a seaside getaway accompanied by his home provider, Pat, me, and Peanut, the pug puppy. Shawn was able to walk around and shop in Rockport, MA on a two-night stay in a beach-front motel. Good food, people watching, and relaxation made for a pleasant trip, and a good time was had by all. We are looking forward to many more.
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Kathy Gets Pampered

Heather Hannafin, Chief Operating Officer
Westbrook, ME

Who doesn’t love a day of pampering? We are so fortunate to have such talented and loving staff at Residential Resources. They spent hours cutting Kathy’s hair, doing her nails, and treating her to an all-out spa day. Thank you to Program Manager, Mallory Hoffman, and our fantastic Lead DSP, Tina Roberts, for showering Kathy with love on this special day.

Holiday Nails

Cheryl Stancik, Direct Support Professional
Londonderry, NH

Maryann, a friend of Rolita and Julie, came to visit their home in Manchester. Maryann loves to paint and decorate fingernails, and Julie and Rolita like having their nails done!

Painting your nails like this is a multi-step process. First, the nails are painted with plain colors. This time, Christmas colors of red and green nail polish were used. After a couple of coats, Maryann uses special tools to add different designs to each nail.

Julie and Rolita wanted a snowman, Christmas tree, a snowflake, an ornament, and reindeer to look good for the upcoming holiday season. Julie and Rolita were very happy with the pampering and the pretty nails!
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Supported Decision Making

Kelly Shadrick, Support Broker
Plattsburgh, NY

Supported Decision Making is the idea that a person can make their own decisions with the support of the people around them. Chances are that you already use some sort of supported decision making in your day-to-day life. Whenever an important decision needs to be made, we talk about it with spouses, parents, family members, friends, or staff. This group of people is formally known as a Circle of Support or Planning Team in New York State, but it is also natural supports, paid staff, friends, volunteers, and/or any individual that you trust. They provide feedback, ask questions, maybe offer some advice, and the individual makes their own choice. A Circle of Support should support the individual by making sure the individual understands what their choices are to the best of their ability, educate them on the outcomes of their choices, and support them through the natural outcome of their choices.

When someone does not have the capability to understand what a choice really means such as medical procedures, financial matters, or self-preservation (ability to keep themselves safe), a parent, caregiver, or other guardian can file for guardianship. Guardianship involves lawyers, competency testing, and a judge determining that the individual is not capable of making decisions on their own behalf. It’s not a simple process and some families find it very costly to file and obtain guardianship for a loved one. It’s not a guarantee; the judge could see them on a good day, or testing might not be showing a clear need. Guardianship does limit an individual’s ability to make decisions on their own.

There is a movement by disability advocates to use Supported Decision Making as an alternative to guardianship. This allows the individual (with the support of their circle) to make decisions on their own behalf and delegate permission for a member of the Circle of Support to provide consent in those areas. Just like guardianship, it allows certain identified designees to make certain decisions that the person is not able to make, but a consensus does need to be gathered in some circumstances.

While the formal process and approval of Supported Decision Making for all individuals is still on the horizon, there has been national support to adopt this model for individuals with disabilities, such as the American Bar Association, The Arc of the United States, and National Council on Disability to name just a few. New York State has recently adopted Supported Decision Making and more states are moving in that direction.

However, true supported decision making is not dependent on rules and regulations or which state you live in; it’s a philosophy that we should strive for with all the people in our lives.

More information about Supported Decision Making can found here:
Supported Decisions:
Supported Decision Making New York:
New Hampshire Family Voices:
Support My Decision – Maine:
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Keene, NH 03431
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