Individual Peer Support:
There is no better support any person can have than that which is offered by a peer with a common link. At LRI, a consumer has the opportunity to speak and/or meet with another disabled person about any topic of interest or concern to the consumer. Often, a consumer may have difficulty figuring out something as common as what to do to protect a wheelchair when caught in a sudden thunderstorm. Another wheelchair user who has been in a similar situation can share their “lessons learned.” Disabled staff, volunteers and consumers can provide individual peer support formally in a private setting or in a more casual environment such as at the coffee machine in LRI’s kitchens.
LRI has trained Community Advocates—disabled consumers who have transitioned out of a nursing home or other institution into living in their own neighborhood. Community Advocates are assigned to a disabled nursing home resident to introduce Independent Living and the programs and services offered by LRI. Community Advocates can show a nursing home resident the benefits of community integration with a walk outside, going to a movie or just sitting on a park bench with an ice cream cone.
LRI also provides peer support groups at which consumers share their experiences as well as enjoy socialization with their peers.
Youth Group: Disabled young adults between 18 and 30 years of age meet to explore issues of importance to all young adults in this age range. Dating, internet chat rooms, coping with parental protection are among the many topics discussed weekly by group members.
Social Group: This group was formed to help nursing home residents learn how to socialize with other disabled consumers, many of whom are relatively new to life in the community. Getting to know each other, learning how to ask for assistance, and learning to manage and take control over their own lives often have led to action on issues regarding disability rights.
Women’s Group: This group supports disabled women over 50 years old with information and discussion about health care, aging with a disability, mature relationships. Meetings frequently feature guests with a professional expertise of interest, book reviews, and “open forums” during which any member can bring up any subject for discussion. The need for community integration is reinforced with trips to museums, theater productions and music recitals and concerts.
Click here to view the support group schedule.