LifeSPAN (Lifetime Secure Personal Assistance Network) Programs
Personal Support Networks and workshops focus on 3 groups:
1) Adults with disabilities (who most often qualify for government benefits and, as a result, most likely have limited personal assets).
2) Parent caregivers (who are often over the age of 60 and may be the only unpaid social supports for the individual).
3) Siblings (who often unexpectedly become the next caregivers for their adult brother or sister with the disability when the parents become elderly or when the parents die).
LifeSPAN understands that planning ahead is emotional. It takes courage. We help people get started wherever they are in the journey and however they choose to learn. That may be a free introductory session, a one-on-one consultation, a workshop, or book discussion group. We also present seminars, such as our Wills and Estates series. For those who like a good book, we have the Good Life workbook. For techies, there is the CD-Rom Peace of Mind with films and downloadable worksheets.
Personal Support Networks: If you are a parent or sibling, you may find it difficult to imagine a satisfying life in community for your relative with a disability. LifeSPAN helps by exploring how to create a Personal Support Network that provides a quality circle of family and friends. For interested families, we also offer a Lifetime commitment to maintaining the networks after the death of the caregiver. We offer network facilitation training and access to a secure online social network site.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
LifeSPAN was here for Mary and Anna when they lost their mother, Julie. At age 24, Mary became her sister's caregiver. Mary says,
"If you told me a year ago what Anna and I would face, I would not have believed it. I am glad that mom got involved with LifeSPAN. I can see now that she did it not only for Anna, but for me, too. Through Anna's Network, mom articulated our familyâ€™s vision of a "good life" for Anna. The Network had that framework and helped me do what was best for my sister."
LifeSPAN is seeking unrestricted operating support to help us continue to build our capacity to increase our educational outreach to more families and to sustain our programs. The fees for our educational workshops and network facilitation cover approximately 35% of our annual operating budget. The remaining 65% is raised annually through private contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. LifeSPAN also supports a pro bono network for a man with no family, who came out of the foster care system. We have two part-time staff members and approx. 14 contracted network facilitators.