Latest News & Events

 

Celebrating DSPs

Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association are joining agencies throughout Ohio and the nation in recognizing the work of our Direct Support Professionals during National Direct Support Professional Week. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and ANCOR’s  (American Network of Community Options and Resources) national advocacy campaign have joined together to sponsor the celebration and recognition, which will run from September 13 – 19. More than 1,000,000 individuals with disabilities across our nation rely on the professional care and support of Direct Support Professionals in their daily lives.

RHA certified DSP’s pictured at last year’s event “DSP’s are STARS in a Supporting Role” from left to right former staff members Frawnshay Billingsley, Valencia McAfee, and current staff Nafessa Huff, Pam Taylor and Callee Smith.

RHA certified DSP’s pictured at last year’s event “DSP’s are STARS in a Supporting Role” from left to right former staff members Frawnshay Billingsley, Valencia McAfee, and current staff Nafessa Huff, Pam Taylor and Callee Smith.

Lisa Barnes, Staff Trainer for Resident Home Association, serves as Chairperson for Ohio’s DSP Recognition event. This year’s event will be held in Columbus on September 16. The theme is “DSPs make HAPPY happen.” DSPaths provides training, certification and credentialing to enhance and support the professional development of those who provide direct support to individuals with disabilities.

More information about the September 16th event and OADSP can be found here at http://www.oadsp.org/

Lisa, pictured at last year’s event “DSP’s are STARS in a Supporting Role”, is not only the Chairperson for the yearly DSP recognition event but is also an officer in the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) and is a DSPATHS instructor.

Lisa, pictured at last year’s event “DSP’s are STARS in a Supporting Role”, is not only the Chairperson for the yearly DSP recognition event but is also an officer in the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) and is a DSPaths instructor.

 

Join the BuddyWalk

The Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association will be hosting their 2015 MVDSA Dayton BuddyWalk on Saturday, September 19 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, with arrival at 8:30 a.m. and the Walk to get underway at 10:00 a.m. Proceeds fund local efforts in the Miami Valley for individuals with Down syndrome, as well as national initiatives for people with Down syndrome in the U.S.

The BuddyWalk was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

To support MVSDA or to participate in the BuddyWalk go to BuddyWalk@mvdsa.org or call 937-222-0744.

 

Singing along with Reba

Teresa Blythe and Tara Walker - Reba

It was the highlight of her summer when Teresa Blythe (r) got her country on at the Reba McEntire concert at the Fraze, accompanied by Tara Walker, staff at Choices Fun-Fit program. The ladies had really good seats and were able to get some great photos of Reba performing that will let them re-live the concert for a long time to come. Teresa likes to stay busy when not working at Courtyard by Marriott and one of her favorite ways to do that is by going to concerts. It lets her combine her love of music, dance and being active in the community.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Elements IV

Elements 4 golf team

Despite the heat (“the hottest day of the year,” according to Butch Van Meter) it was still a good day on the course for our Choices golf team as they participated in the Elements IV Interiors Charity Golf Tournament in July, including (l-r) Doug Jones, his son Nate Jones, Pete Smith and Butch Van Meter. Pete and Nate are avid golfers. Nate, who works for MONCO Enterprises at its Liberty Center, has participated in Special Olympics tournaments alongside his Dad, while Pete, who is independently employed in the community, and Butch have also participated in several Special Olympics tournaments, with Pete winning regional titles.

While it was a steamy day, Butch, who is Program Administrator for Choices’ Semi-Independent Living program, said it was a great day to be golfing and meeting new friends. “Elements IV Interiors staff were really welcoming to us and they made it a great day for us,” he shares.

Elements IV Interiors is a Dayton-based business that specializes in interior design for corporations, businesses and organizations. They are also committed to giving back to their community. One of the ways they do that is their annual Charity Golf Tournament. Choices In Community Living is one of the nonprofit agencies that will receive a donation from this year’s tournament.

Thank you to Elements IV Interiors for welcoming our Choices’ golf team and for your generosity and caring in supporting us this year!  What a truly great team of caring and open people and an inspiring business that takes great joy in giving back to our community!

 

Cheering on the Dragons

dragons alan and Wood guys

It was a great day at Fifth Third Field as Alan Pippenger (second from the left) shared the excitement of a Dayton Dragons game with Steve, Kent and Doc of Resident Home Association. Alan and the Woodbury men started out many years ago as neighbors but soon became good friends.

Hard to imagine a better way to celebrate that friendship than by spending time together cheering on the Dragons and getting up close with Gem, one of the Dragons’ mascots.

Retired RHA Executive Director Brenda Whitney recollects: “Over the years the whole Pippenger family has engaged with the men of Woodbury, taking them to Reds and Dragons games, fishing and often remembering them on holidays with a ham or similar gift. They have relationships with most of the men, and are great neighbors!!”

Dragons game

 

Enjoy “Choices” recipes

Choices In Community Living is committed to healthy lifestyles for the people we serve. While our Fun-Fit program at area YMCAs is one way we encourage and support healthy living for those who participate, our commitment to wellness can be found every meal in every home every day. Our staff work together to share information on how to incorporate new and healthy foods into menu planning in our homes for and with the people we serve. One of the ways we focus on healthy menu planning is by sharing recipes using our Vegetable of the Month. We’d like to share our August Vegetables of the Month with you – Tomatoes and Sweet Corn – along with a recipe for each.

Sweet Corn  –  Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel. Sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. Since the process of mutation involved converting sugar  to starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned or frozen before the kernels become tough and starchy. Cooked sweet corn increases levels of ferulic acid, which provides anti-cancer properties.

Microwaved Sweet Corn on the Cob

Take as many ears as you wish to prepare for any one occasion and place them in the microwave with the shucks still on. Cook on high for 3 minutes for every ear of corn (1 ear for 3 minutes; 2 ears for six minutes, etc.) Times may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. Once done, remove from the microwave. The corn will be hot so be sure to use a hot pad. Cut off the bottom end of each ear and hold the ear by the silks at the top end. Shake the ear until the corn slides out, minus the silks. If you have done it right, most of the silk will come off with the shucks. Season to taste and enjoy.

Tomatoes – The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads and drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes. The tomato is rich in lycopene, which has beneficial health effects.

Texas Toast Tomato Sandwich

Makes 6 servings   Total preparation time: 15 minutes

1 (9.5 oz.) package of five-cheese Texas toast

2 lbs. of tomatoes

1/4 cup bottled blue cheese vinaigrette

6 T torn fresh basil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Prepare Texas toast according to package directions. Slice the tomatoes to your taste as to thickness. Gently toss the tomatoes with vinaigrette, basil, salt and pepper. Serve immediately over hot Texas toast.

Enjoy healthy eating that is also tasty!

 

 

 

Out and about in Huber Heights

Huber Firefighters Fun Fit (2)

 

As great as it is, it’s not always exercise and activities at the Y at the Heights for participants in Choices Fun-Fit (Adult Day Services) program. There are also opportunities to meet new friends and learn new things about the community. One of those opportunities took place recently when participants were welcomed at one of the Huber Heights fire stations to learn more about firefighting directly from the firefighters. For Hannah Schmautz there was even the thrill of getting to sit in one of the trucks, something she will remember for a long time. Thanks to the welcoming Huber firefighters for making it a great visit!

Choices partners with YMCA’s throughout the area, as well as the Kettering Recreation Complex, to provide its Fun-Fit program. In addition to the Y in Huber Heights, the program is also held at the Englewood and West Carrollton Ys, as well as the Y in Preble County. Many Fun-Fit participants have lost significant weight, have been able to reduce and/or change their medications and have made a commitment to healthier lifestyles. They are excited as well about more opportunities to participate in more community activities.

 

For more information about Choices Fun-Fit program, please visit Choices services here.

Fun Fit - Huber Fire

 

Memories of a meaningful life

Jodi and Nancy Jodi was a sweetheart, a real girly girl, a princess. Her room was painted pink and decorated in all things princess. She was a caring and loving person. That’s how staff at our Cedar Circle home (Preble County) and all of us remember Jodi Dague. She had lived in the home and had been a part of our Choices extended family since 2003. She died in April, just a few months after her 50th birthday.

One of the best days of Jodi’s life was when she first met Nancy Reder, who would become her Friend By Choice. Friend By Choice is one of the volunteer opportunities of Partners Volunteer Program. It matches an individual with a developmental disability with a friend from the community and supports them as they get to know each other. As with other friends from the community who have been matched with a friend with a developmental disability, Nancy soon found that the friendship meant as much to her or more than it did to Jodi. “She gave me so much more than I ever gave her,” she shares.

Staff remember that time between Nancy and Jodi as the best part of her life. “When Nancy would go to Florida for the winter, she always came over to say good-by,” shares Program Director Barb Swindler. “She would give Nancy a long hug. Nancy would call her from Florida and when staff told her that Nancy was on the phone, she would get a huge smile on her face. Jodi didn’t talk much but she would smile the whole time Nancy was on the phone.”

The two would grow to have a special bond that lasted until Jodi’s death. The fact that Jodi was not very verbal never stopped the friendship from blossoming. Nancy’s favorite memory of her friend came during one phone call between the two of them. “I usually talked and Jodi listened. I always knew she was listening,” remembers Nancy. “During this one phone call I ended it like all our other calls by telling her I loved her. It will stay with me forever what I heard after I said that. I love you, she said I love you. She never said much, but this one time she said I love you back to me. There are no words that can explain what that meant to me and will always mean to me.”

Sign up for our Partners email newsletter to receive more stories like these HERE

 

New law impacts funding for individuals

On December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 647. With his signature, the ABLE Act became federal law. Beginning on January 1, 2015, the ABLE Act authorizes each state to establish and operate ABLE programs. The new ABLE law (Achieving a Better Life Experience) allows people with severe disabilities to open special accounts where they can save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other programs. Individuals can keep their Medicaid coverage no matter how much money is accrued in an ABLE account.

To be eligible, individuals must have a condition that occurred before age 26 and have severe functional limitations. Modeled after well-known college 529 Plans, distributions can be taken from an ABLE account for qualified expenses, such as health, education, housing, training, assistive technology, personal support and related services and expenses. Any income earned by these accounts would not be taxed, nor would distributions, as long as the distribution is used for qualified expenses. Each state must now put regulations in place so that financial institutions can make the new offering available.

In April, 2015, both the Ohio Senate (SB 147) and Ohio House of Representatives (HB 155)  introduced legislation on behalf of the Ohio ABLE Act (Disability Expense Savings Account Bill.) Senator Bill Beagle is one of the co-sponsors of the legislation. Contact your local senator or representative for an update on the status of the Ohio ABLE Act and thank them for their support for this significant change that will impact the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in maintaining their health and independence.

 

 

Live each day we are given – Cheryl’s Story

cherylIt was one of those calls no family member ever wants to receive. Mike Babb was working out of town in Texas when he received that call. It was from staff at Resident Home’s Hemphill home and he knew immediately it could not be good news. His sister Cheryl lives in that home, has lived there since 1990. If they were calling him out of town, something had to be wrong with Cheryl. He listened as they talked and was on a

plane home that night. “It really hit me hard,” he remembers about that call. “She has cancer,” he recalls the words of staff, “ovarian cancer – Stage 4 ovarian cancer. Our mother died of cancer. That’s how Cheryl first went to Resident Home. She lived with our mother all her life and we had to find somewhere safe for her before our mother died. And now she has IT!”

Cheryl’s staff, her “other” family were just as stunned. “There were no indications anything was wrong,”  shares Home Manager Monica Redman, who has been with Cheryl and the other ladies at Hemphill since 1991. “We were just devastated …. just devastated,” she says with tears brimming in her eyes. “She had been

to the doctor on Friday and when she came home she started telling us her back hurt. We had her rest and kept an eye on her but the pain became worse. We took her back to the doctor on Monday. The next Monday she   was in treatment. There were three rounds of chemo, then surgery, then three more rounds of chemo.”

Staff were by her side every time she went to chemo. Big brother Mike was there as well. “It’s amazing how well she’s handled her cancer,” he says with pride for his sister.

Read the rest of Cheryl’s heartwarming story here