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Person-Directed Facilitator Approach  |  Lanark County Support Services

At present two men and two women are living in their own apartments in a duplex. Three of the participants are over 55 years of age. The women were cohabiting until a QAM evaluator discovered they were experiencing ongoing conflict. Adjustments were made so that each was able to move into their own unit.  

One individual with especially complex medical needs is using technology to enhance her safety and security. Though she is unable to read, she has learned how to use an ipad and Skypes each night with a family member. She has a direct line to the Facilitator living in the building who provides support on weekday evenings and weekends (for all the participants). The local hospital donated a specialized bed for her.

Project participants are said to be "loving taking responsibility for their new apartments; choosing their own paint colours and [donated] furniture has been a first". While they are all very much enjoying their new apartments, they are still spending regular time with their families, and attending many cultural and community events. 

Without this innovative project in place, all four individuals would require a higher level of support than the traditional SIL supports and therefore would again be on a waiting list for a higher-cost, and less effective, traditional model.
                                                                                                                       ~ Debi McEwen, Executive Director LCSS

The families have also made shifts and are happy to see their loved ones faring so well. Halfway through the project, one family member, who had at the outset been extremely protective, began to ask why her sister did not have “more freedom”.  Likewise, another parent who once received up to 25 calls a day from their son now receives one good night call each evening. Because each person has grown in their capacity to manage daily tasks, the organization has been able to scale back Facilitator hours, thus prevent “over-supporting”.

While each participant has a fairly robust family network in place, with whom LSCC has clarified “what is ours, and what is yours” regarding roles and responsibilities in caring for their loved ones, the fact remains that several of the primary caregivers are now very elderly. Supporting their adult sons and daughters to live independently within community is a proactive way of addressing this reality.

Overview of Outcomes:

  • All individuals living in the Church Street Apartments in Smiths Falls have moved in and have detailed and specific person-directed plans.
  • Participants and support teams has a user-friendly, accessible and ongoing process to comfortably express ideas, changes or concerns as they may arise.
  • Each person has their own schedule and flexible supports based on their needs, lifestyle, culture, interests and preferences in all areas.
  • Personal growth, increased confidence and greatly improved self-esteem are evident in all individuals at Church Street.
  • Without this innovative project in place, all four individuals would require a higher level of support than the traditional Supported Independent Living supports and therefore would have remained on a wait list for a higher-cost (and less effective) traditional model.

Project Contact:
Debi McEwen  |
Heidi Bedor  |
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