house icon IN SPIRIT 2007 Newsletter

A CAUSE TO CELEBRATE


This year marks IN SPIRIT’s 20th anniversary of serving quadriplegics in Marin County and beyond. Things have gotten better for quadriplegics, and IN SPIRIT is proud to have had a hand in some of the achievements. Highlights of IN SPIRIT’s work include: Enabling 55 local persons to remain permanently in their homes, thus avoiding the trauma of nursing home placement.
Increased wages and provision of health benefits for IHSS workers.
More hours of care for California's most severely impaired IHSS recipients made possible through new Medi-Cal Nursing Facility Waivers.
We can all relate to the need to “live in safety and dignity” in our homes. This is exactly what IN SPIRIT provides for its clients, and in doing so, also serves their families, their caregivers and ultimately, the whole community.


So hats off to Executive Director Aneice Taylor and the dedicated Board of Directors, supporters and volunteers who keep the good ship IN SPIRIT afloat!!!

IN SPIRIT HELPS Save the Day - Every Day


Brian


Daily life presents a tremendous challenge for quadriplegics. Without others to help with health care regimes and activities of daily living, their lives could come to a standstill. Each of our client’s circumstances is unique, but all share a determination to live independently and with dignity. By helping pay for their attendant care, IN SPIRIT makes available the most valuable tool necessary for overcoming obstacles and gaining more control of their lives.
By definition, quadriplegics are paralyzed to some degree in both upper and lower body. In disability lingo, "high level quads" may only be able to breathe with the help of a ventilator and communicate by blinking their eyes. Some can breathe independently but not use their arms and can drive their motorized wheelchairs by chin control. Conversely, "low level quads" may be able to feed themselves and push their wheelchairs using the heels of their hands.
Most quadriplegics share common care issues and dilemmas. Bowel and bladder care play a paramount role and can be time consuming. Assistance from bed to wheelchair can be relatively simple for those who can hold on to their attendants with their arms, but more involved for those who require assistive devices. For some, remaining in bed may be a more realistic choice. Diligence is required to address numerous complications, and pain can be persistent and debilitating.

Attendant care is costly and locating and managing caregivers is challenging. There can be suesmooth periods when competent attendants are on board, and rocky times when care is unreliable. The logistics of acquiring and maintaining adaptive equipment and confronting accessibility problems can be exhausting. As one client said, “I get so tired of constantly having to solve problems." Despite all the difficulties , our clients are determined to live independently and maintain control over their lives.
There is one thing that all our clients have in common _ an improved quality of life when they have good attendant care. Their daily lives can be transformed, including improved baseline care regimes to greater possibilities for rich personal experiences. With IN SPIRIT'sfinancial support, our clients are more able to obtain care from competent attendants of their choice and prevail over their unique obstacles. Then, they can get on with their lives _ more time for family and friends, work, creative pursuits, perhaps even a drive to the beach to watch the sunset..

Babcock Endowment Closes After 50 Years -Changing Times for IN SPIRIT
After quietly assisting low income residents of Marin County with medical costs since 1956, The William Babcock Memorial Endowment closed its doors. The fund was set up by Julia Babcock in her will as a tribute to her late husband William Babcock.
Skyrocketing medical costs chipped away at the $4.1 million fund, and the decline in the stock market in 2000 further exhausted its resources. The Endowment helped those in need _ from the elderly facing chronic illnesses to young parents with ailing babies. It also provided grants to local health related programs. IN SPIRIT was one of those fortunate groups.

IN SPIRIT began receiving support 18 years ago to help pay for attendant care for its quadriplegic clients. In collaboration with the Marin Community Foundation until 2005, over $1 million was given to our clients for vitally needed care.
The Endowment distributed its final reserves to six Marin agencies that provide direct care, and IN SPIRIT was honored to be one of the six chosen. In respect of Mrs. Babcock's wishes, an IN SPIRIT Preservation Fund has been created with this generous gift in the hopes of building an endowment to help provide care for quadriplegics well into the future. We are now challenged to replace their annual support ($90,000 last year) in order to continue our services and commitments.


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Backups Now on Call - If your attendant calls to say they can't be at work the next day or, heaven forbid, just doesn't show up, IHSS recipients are just a phone call away from having a backup worker come to the rescue. The IHSS Public Authority of Marin’s Urgent Backup Care Program can dispatch a worker within two hours to help with your daily necessities. Recipients must register before receiving services by contacting Renee at the IHSS PA, 499-1024.

IHSS Pay Rates Statewide

 

The IHSS provider wage in many rural counties is still minimum wage _ $7.50 an hour. Urban areas have risen significantly with San Francisco paying the highest -- $10.95. Marin pays $10.50 an hour. Thank you, Marin Supervisors, for your support!

Plant Sale Brigade Does It Again!

Dedicated volunteers again put on a fabulous sale_ $6,700 worth! We would like to highlight two emissaries of the plant kingdom_Pam Bird and Dahlia Kamesar_for their special contributions. Pam, previous owner of LIM Gardens, has been a generous financial donor along with bringing many lovely plants and pots since the sale’s inception. Dahlia loves making connections and loads her trusty pickup with plants from Marin Art and Garden Center, as well as her own and friends’ gardens. The sale’s bounty is the product of many gardeners, and we never cease to be amazed at the interesting plants. daliaSunnyside Nursery, United Market and Fairfax Lumber made contributions, as well as local artists and craftsmen including the Arroyo Road Bead Collective, Jill Tramontano, pam birdLiz Ford, Richard Gray, and Ellen Gray. As always, the sale would be impossible without Mary Chapman and her great team who run the show.
Thanks to you all who support the sale! Keep us in mind if you have plants, pots, garden décor or artwork you would like to share. We hope to see you in the spring.



Human Racers Break Their Record

Nancy Nichols and Harriette Pearlman de Vries broke their record in raising money for IN SPIRIT in the Marin Human Race. They ran the 3k race and raised $2500 to help support our programs. They exercised their hearts and muscles on our behalf. Thank you, Nancy and Snuey, and sponsors. There is always a place for you in The Human Race_as a runner, sponsor, or organizer. Join our team !

HI-TECH MUSCLE STIMULATOR DONATED

IN SPIRIT is the new owner of a revolutionary piece of equipment known as Neotonus. It was purchased for our client Vince Pinto by a friend. Unfortunately Vince passed away in 2006 before he had a chance to use it. Neotonus has now been donated to IN SPIRIT. It uses Extracorporeal Magnetic Innervation (ExMI) technology which produces highly focused magnetic fields causing muscles to contract and relax. It works on the deep muscles of the pelvic floor and is beneficial in treating incontinence, prostatitis, and other conditions as well as strengthening buttocks and upper leg muscles. It is FDA approved and IN SPIRIT hopes to offer treatments to our clients and others.
A Big Bang for the Buck - IN SPIRIT's Special Needs Program spent $11,000 assisting quadriplegics with personal needs. It is very rewarding and cost effective to assist with equipment, repairs, communication devices or other supports that can greatly enhance safety, mobility and independence

Dear Friends,

I have been fortunate to have IN SPIRIT in my life. It has assisted with my attendant care and contributed to my stability, thus making it possible for me to work. I have been equally fortunate to have several attendants who have been with me for long-runs. Diane Williams (pictured on page 1) has assisted me for over 20 years helping me stay healthy and active. Together we have accomplished and shared many things.

We at IN SPIRIT are beginning a new chapter in our organization's unfolding journey. The closing of the Babcock Endowment presents financial challenges, but also opportunities. We must now raise additional funds to replace their annual support. Our Board of Directors is committed to guiding us through a strategic planning process. The IN SPIRIT Preservation Fund is an important first step, which if built upon, will help carry IN SPIRIT's mission forward.
Thank you for your past generosity.  It has made a tremendous difference in the lives of those we serve. Quadriplegics in the community will always need a hand. With your hand, we hope to be there making it possible for them live with health and well-being in their homes.

Aneice Taylor