May- 2021
May is Move More Month
post-it notes of different colors are shown with motivation sayings like MOVE MORE POSITIVE ATTITUDE BE LESS STRESSED
4 - World Asthma Day
9 - Mother's Day
12 - World Fibromyalgia Day
17 - World Hypertension Day
21 - Run, Walk, and Roll starts
30 - World MS Day
31 - Memorial Day
disAbility Connections' RUN, WALK, or ROLL
a running donut with pink frosting and sprinkles
As mentioned above, May is "Move More Month". In that spirit, we will be launching a new virtual fundraiser! Introducing "disAbiity Connections' Run, Walk, or Roll". May 21st - June 7th we are asking people to join in supporting our programs and services while committing to healthy eating and being more active. Ending after national Donut Day when we celebrate our success.

Rather than your standard 5k, in the dC Run, Walk, or Roll, the participants set their own activity and healthy eating goals based on their individual ability and circumstances. Like many other people, you may already be saying "Yeah right! I can't do a 5k." No worries!! Just like people with disabilities do every day, you'll be taking the 5k idea and adjusting it to your own body needs and ability. Examples could be:
  • Take "X" steps/miles in a day/week.
  • "X" trips up and down the driveway.
  • Eating # veggies/fruits each day.
  • Drink ## ounces of water a day.
  • Run, walk, or roll # of 5k's between May 21 - June 7

We suggest goals that are achievable but also require effort. Then, sharing those goals among friends and family for personal support and using our platform to showcase your efforts toward your health and fundraising goals.

Look for your special email invite and further details to be coming soon.
Agency Updates
Time is certainly going fast as we are into May already. Staff is remaining in good spirits, making the best of or working from home situations. The role that technology has played to allow us to remain providing services is truly incredible when you think about how much people have adjusted and are still able to meet the needs of our roles.

Pre-ETS program has been going strong providing services for high school students in all three counties via Zoom and had a good time working with students through two spring break sessions early in April. Independent Living and Employment Navigator services continue their work with people in a virtual setting as well. Transitions to the community are still happening and if you know anybody that is enrolled in Medicaid and in a nursing facility and looking to return to living in the community, contact us to be put in touch with our transition specialist. Our Information & Referral staff have been continuing to be a great resource for anyone to get information and resource connections.

High local COVID rates have put a hold on us being able to provide the Loan Closet and Fix-dis services to people over the last few weeks. We look to resume those services this upcoming first week of May. Please continue to check our website and Facebook for availability and also call before coming to the building.
Independent Living Group Meets Through Zoom

Under the facilitation of Independent Living Specialist Nick Swallow, Friday afternoons have become an online hangout. Using a program developed by the University of Montana called "Healthy Community Living", Independent Living participants get together every Friday via Zoom for one hour and discuss independent living skills and utilize peer support to strategize together about how they can live as independently as possible.

An additional goal and outcome of the meetings are that it also provides a community setting for people to socialize and learn together during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far the program has gone quite well, with participants reporting that it is the highlight of their week and they have learned a tremendous amount about Independent Living.

When group leader Mr. Swallow was asked about his perspective of the program, he replied "I think the group has been effective at building community and bringing up important topics that wouldn’t have emerged organically. I have observed growth in socialization skills as well".

To learn more about Independent Living or to talk about the "Healthy Community Living" program call Nick Swallow at 517-617-7070.
COVID Vaccine
All Michiganders 16+ are eligible to get the vaccine now. As our closing of the Loan Closet and recent health reporting has shown, COVID is still around and impacting lives. Please consider getting the vaccine and checking with your local health department and pharmacies for an upcoming opportunity.

For any that are unable to leave their home, call one of these three agencies for assistance:

  • Region 2 Area Agency on Aging (517) 592-1976
  • disAbility Connections (517) 998-3084
  • Jackson County Department on Aging (517) 788-4364

Follow this link to our COVID resources and its links to county health departments and their vaccine scheduling services.
information for those that are unable to go out to get a COVID vaccine.  call region 2 at 517 592 1976 or disability connections 517 998 3084 or jackson county department on aging 517 788 4364
Respite Program

Respite means relief. We view respite as a temporary therapeutic separation for both the caregiver and the family member with a disability or disease. Our respite program began in 1995; since then we have been able to provide thousands of hours of respite care breaks for families. 
Our Respite Program provides a total of 8 hours per month using 2 to 8-hour shifts at a reasonable cost of $7-12 per hour determined on a sliding scale by household income. In instances where someone has a serious disability or develops a disease, family members often take on the role of their caregiver when somebody is no longer able to completely care for themselves. While this is done out of love, care can also become a lot of work and add strain to relationships by making it difficult to separate the roles as spouse/sibling/parent and caregiver. 

Respite Care is an opportunity for the person with a disability/disease to be cared for by a trained and skilled professional while allowing the family member and person with a disability a separation. During these brief separations, longtime nurse and Respite program coordinator Carole Briggs encourages the caregiver(s) to get out of the house and to do something for themselves like going out to eat, get a haircut, or simply go for a walk. She also, acknowledged that respite time (depending on the amount of time allotted) may be the easiest to do the basic necessities of getting groceries, errands, or even get a haircut knowing they have safe care at home with their loved ones.

All caregivers need a break! We would be happy to discuss the Respite Program for your family. If you are a Jackson County resident, contact us to find out if you qualify for respite care services at 517-782-6054.