DISABLED SENIOR -HELP W/CAREGIVING COSTS
Disabled all my life with a congenital birth defect called Arthrogryposis, I am a 64 year old man recently divorced, now living in a low-income senior apartment complex. It is not an assisted living facility and I live alone. Wheelchair bound with extremely limited use of my hands and arms, I require caregiver assistance to get in & out of bed, get dressed, use the bathroom, take daily showers, maintain good hygiene, prepare food, do my laundry, run errands and generally assist me in my quest to remain independent. I am in a transitional phase of my life, not only toward regaining stability after the separation from my family, but from paying for my caregivers out of my now limited fixed income, to County (government) provided caregivers.
In my effort to sustain the necessary quality of care that the above transition diminishes, your assistance will enable me to overcome the accessibility issues that I am now facing in my new living environment, and perpetuate my determination to regain financial and personal independence. Because of the severity of my disability and the amount of assistance I require, the quality of care is paramount. Most of my life I was proud to say that I never needed a lot of physical assistance and I am grateful beyond words for the hands that enable me to again accomplish, ever striving to be all I can be. You see, in spite of how my disability handicaps me, I have always risen to overcome challenges with my brain. My ability to overcome obstacles, an outright determination to succeed, a steadfast belief that a higher power of positive energy that fuels achievement, are the ingredients that people are drawn to and seemingly inspired by. This attribute of unintended mentorship validates my challenge to the able bodied to be all they can be!
For those interested, below is a brief narrative about my disability. At 5, I got around with leg braces <picture Forest Gump running down the road> and crutches. There were multiple corrective surgeries until I was 12 or thereabouts. The memory of major back surgery at 15 for scoliosis and 9 months in a body cast is brutally painful. Three months after back surgery and while immobilized, my left hand was reconstructed in order to create better functionality. The unimaginable hand pain made the back pain seem lightweight. At 43, I transitioned to an electric wheelchair and then a different vehicle to enable me to remain employed. At 50 the wear and tear of forever wanting to achieve caused my neck to collapse so severely at onset, I adamantly opposed more fusion and fortunately found a doctor who agreed. I lost the use of my right arm, rehabbed it back to functional and a year to the day later my left arm did the same and came back the same. Three years after onset, hopes of nerve regeneration evaporated. Laminectomy surgery entailing the reconstruction of 2 cervical vertebrae and the removal of all 5 vertebrae nerve canal bone coverings didn’t bring the results I prayed for. Too much time had elapsed and functional employability was lost. I happily became a househusband and remained fulfilled by helping raise three phenomenal, independent children.
Through assistive electronic hardware and apps, the internet, digital technologies and a voice that is distinctive, I am hopeful that I may again achieve a modicum of financial independence in the field of Voiceover work as well as looking into spearheading a non-profit company that will assist others similarly disenfranchised. The amazing connectivity of computers and social networking led me to this plea for help. I would not be asking if my situation was not dire.
Thank you for considering this appeal. Anything you can contribute would be greatly appreciated.
- Mary McAuliffe
- Bruce Gillen