Marty West, 38, living in a small rural Ontario community, shares his path of self-determination in creating significant changes in his life. Marty’s journey has taken him from living in a nursing home to living independently in a supportive community.
It was early June 2015 when Diane, an independent facilitator from Facile met Marty at the Nursing Home. Marty shared that he was on every possible waiting list for group living in the region. Diane asked the question, “What are you waiting for, where would you really want to live and what would that look like?” Marty believed that he could live in the community, and so did his mother. Marty was also clear in expressing what was important in his life.
During the transition from the nursing home to a home in community, Independent Facilitation bridged what had been an isolated living situation to a collaborative journey that became rich with community participation, connections, and networks. Marg, Marty’s mother, shares, “As a parent, I just don’t have the connections, know who to call, or what doors to knock on.” Fortunately for the family, their facilitator Diane had the energy, the connections, and skills to create a positive nine month transition process.
Early on in the process, a network of people who cared about Marty met on a regular basis to plan, to clarify, and to listen to what Marty wanted and needed to move out of this nursing home. He was very sad and discouraged that he was stuck there. The network was very helpful in informing the facilitator what her role was in searching out new possibilities. Marty shares “I was looking forward to each meeting and what I had to do to speed up the process” and noting he felt, “…more hopeful some days and some days I was feeling like I was going around in circles.”
Marty expressed an interest in moving to Woodstock because he had lots of natural supports there; sister, her husband, nieces, his father and his wife and children and his biggest supporter Mom, who lived 30 minutes away. At the same time, Marty was very clear that he wasn’t about to settle and end up back in a nursing home. He wanted assurances that he had enough support to be successful so he could have a life again.
The facilitator worked with the two funding sources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, sharing Marty’s vision and how it could be realized. Marty’s clarity about “not settling” became a driving force during the process and the negotiations.
After months of planning and keeping Marty’s vision in the forefront, Marty moved. The Ministry of Health, through the Cheshire Program offered Marty an accessible apartment in a vibrant community, blocks away from his family. Cheshire also provides Marty with daily attendant care supports. Woodstock Developmental Services provides Marty with 30 hours of support each week, which he directs on a daily basis. Diane’s role as the facilitator was to knit these two funding services together. The collaborative approach to planning supported their actions toward realizing Marty’s hopes and dreams. Far different from the 24 hour support plan Marty had been on waiting lists for.
In reflecting on the transition process, Diane says, “Good planning and facilitation go hand in hand,” noting how important it was to keep everyone engaged in the process. Marg adds, “Diane was our link pulling together all the other pieces that fit together.”
Diane adds, “This story is just the beginning. It’s a journey…Marty landed in a beautiful neighborhood. Now we have to nurture that and grow that.”Marty has been able to have his family over and looks forward to a much anticipated vacation prior to resuming college studies. Marty’s aunt, who lives in London, visits frequently, and feels Marty, “…looks much happier.”Marg shares, “He is getting back what he had before. He is set up with his TV, computer, he has space…he has access to help if he needs it.”
Marty adds, “I feel my life is back on track…I feel great, fantastic.”