Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

March 25, 2013

Caregivers share journey to community settings

emann@pvdemocrat.com — If there’s one undeniable connection between parents or guardians of clients in community and institutional care, it’s that the most involved of those responsible for overseeing services often see the best care delivered.

Three such individuals living right here in Pauls Valley are Alan Willard, Timothy Ledbetter and John Paul, clients who not only made a successful transition from the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center, but are continuing proof that diligence is the only way they’ve been able to prosper at all.

Each of them have come from unique situations with a journey full of a separate set of difficulties, but only through having someone watching out for them has it created a shared environment none of them would trade for anything.

“If you’ve never been exposed to that population then you don’t have the knowledge base, what you don’t know about you’re afraid of,” said Janice Nevins, guardian for John Paul who grew up at SORC, but has been in community care of some kind for about a decade now.

John Paul is wheelchair bound for the most part, but has actually seen improvement in everything from his mood to how much movement he can accomplish since being in the community.

He’s able to get the physical therapy attention he needs and like the other two has opened up more to people in a less crowded environment.

For Ledbetter, whose needs are watched over by his grandmother Caroline, his story is proof that no matter how rough transition can be, the quality of life only gets better if someone is willing to be hands on.

She can attest that it’s not always easy to find the right agency for care, going through three that were abusive to him directly or by theft and only by encouragement from her nephew did she find motivation to keep trying.

However, finding the right fit here has made it worth all the trials overcome and these days Ledbetter is the most musically minded of the group. He spends quite a bit of time playing either the drum as well as guitar, enjoys listening to his favorite artist, Michael Jackson, and since his speech therapy was restored after it was cut off at SORC, he will even try and get everyone he meets to join him in singing hymns like Amazing Grace.

“We went in through Garvin County the last two years and it’s been wonderful… They’re not all bad, check into their background to see if they’ve had any prior troubles,” said Ledbetter, adding how it doesn’t take much effort to check in on at least a weekly basis.

“When you’re working with a person one on one, you get to know their needs.”

As far as Alan, who is blind and whose guardian is his sister-in-law Jennifer, transition was much easier, though like all of them took some time to get used to each time he had a change in environment.

The latest daily living support home with the other two clients was a bit different than his previous with a foster family, but they all enjoy the interaction and even work off and on through the Garvin County Community Living Center’s vocational program.

“It was a little strange for Alan for the first two weeks, but once he got used to being in a house it was OK,” said Jennifer Willard, who noted many of them don’t like change in any part of their daily routine and that Alan had lived at SORC from the 1970s until about 2000.

“Now he’s happier and smiles a lot more than what he used to... Now that he’s around these other guys he seems to be doing much better.”

In the end, Nevins said a big need she sees as families of these clients get older and pass away or cannot care for their loved ones is for more people to consider getting involved in something like the volunteer guardianship program through Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services Developmental Disability Services Division. She said it makes it easier for these clients to be cared for if they have an advocate there on a regular basis even if it is just someone to go meetings or give an OK if they see a doctor.

“I am a general guardian of the person… If I feel like there are problems or issues I can ask for another agency or other placement,” said Nevins who also oversees services for two other clients. “If I sense or know those people aren’t being care for I can move the client to another house. That’s why it’s necessary for people to have guardians when they live in the community because it’s kind of a court appointed advocate... though I love his roommates as much as my guy I’m able to look at households less unbiased than families … I love them all.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Winners plentiful at peach festival

    With no shortage of visitors making the Stratford Peach Festival a summer destination, it was a win-win situation for all parties this past weekend.

    July 24, 2014

  • Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck

               

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Search on for new 911 boss

    The search for a replacement is now on after it was announced the coordinator of Garvin County’s 911 center is stepping down.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stratford Peach Festival 2014 PeachFest draws big crowd

    Unseasonably comfortable weather, a day full of family fun and one of the best fruit crops in recent years. Mix that together and you have one of the best-attended Stratford Peach Festival’s on record.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Evening in the Valley’ set

    It might still be summer but some in Pauls Valley already have an eye on a new school year right around the corner.

    July 23, 2014

  • PV City meetings set for 6 tonight

    The Pauls Valley City Council, PV Hospital Authority and Municipal Authority have set their meetings at city hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • DHS Caregiver Awards Love of client pales next to awards

    On any given day one can find a good story about caregivers going the extra mile to meet the needs of acutely disabled individuals.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain Tumor Fundraiser Life battle leads to higher calling

    A Pauls Valley woman’s battle with a brain tumor has led her to what could turn out to be a higher calling.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Na na na na na na na BAT KID Big birthday salute to Batman

    The Dark Knight, better known as the superhero Batman, will soon get a special salute in Pauls Valley for his birthday.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • PVGH ready to dive into community interaction

    The biggest developments at Pauls Valley General Hospital continue to be the big moves and purchases necessary to bring the facility up to date.

    July 18, 2014

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Stocks
Facebook