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Change: It Can Be Good!

Submitted by Glenna Tharp, Independent Living Specialist

Groundhog Day was this week. That “special” day when we anxiously await to see
when change is coming. Of course we want Spring to come early, but I really don’t believe whether a groundhog, or any other object that can cast a shadow, really has anything to do with when Spring arrives. Change is going to happen, sooner or later.

Change is hard; even if it’s for a pleasant reason of the change of seasons. There is cleaning to do, storm windows to take down, lawn preparation, lawn furniture to drag out of storage, etc.

I’m sure we could all tell about changes in our lives that were difficult; or even some which are occurring right now. Change is always happening here at PACE. Staff comes and goes; our consumers come and achieve goals, then leave. Some come back when a new obstacle gets in the way of their independence.

Not only do the people we see change, but things change here too. I’ve worked here since November 2007. In that time I’ve worked under four different Program Directors; seen new paint and carpeting, two new copy machines, and technological changes too numerous to mention – or for me to understand. My responsibilities have changed too. Under one funding source, I worked with people with development and intellectual disabilities. Then funding changed and I work with many diagnoses. A small part of my job is to work in the Personal Assistant Program. Other things I do involve the Community Reintegration Program. I also do equipment loan, MTD Passes, and file maintenance. So just like any place of employment, staff at PACE wear many hats and must have the ability to accept change.

But the biggest change for me has been the implementation of a new software program all staff uses now to document the work we do. It’s called CILsFirst. With each phone call, each time we have contact or provide a service for a consumer, a goal is set, met or dropped; we enter that data into our data base. It’s only different from the method of writing on paper like we used to do in that it’s easier to retrieve for reports, and there is less paper used. This change has been hard, but it has been for the good.

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If are a person with a disability and would like support as you navigate the changes in your life, contact PACE today! One of our facilitators will discuss setting up an Independent Living Plan, which can include learning to feel better about yourself as you work through your challenges, or to locate local support groups, peer mentoring opportunities, or to develop problem-solving skills necessary for daily life. If we aren’t able to address your specific needs, we’re happy to direct you toward another solution!

Check back next week for more from PACE!

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