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“...ILC has a program of attendant care that allows attendants to assist in living life to the fullest...”

James describes everyday life as running a marathon.  On some days, you run the whole race without stopping, and other days, you hit a wall.  “My attendant,” he said, “is the person who is able to accept the wall—and make sure I’m at the starting line again the next morning.”

Since 1999, James has received support at home through ILCWR’s Outreach program.  Though his attendant visits only once a week, these visits have a profound impact on his life.

“I think ILC has a program of attendant care that allows attendants to assist in living life to the fullest, rather than just dealing with its problems,” James said thoughtfully.  And living life to the fullest is something he does very well. 

Born with cerebral palsy in the mid-1940’s, James grew up to earn a university degree in Psychology, and led a very eventful professional life including a brief tenure as Executive Director of ILCWR in 1983.  Though he retired in 1994, James is now heavily involved in a number of community groups including the ILCWR Board of Directors, two book clubs, and the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy’s Medical and Housing Committee.

When asked how he handles such a full schedule of activities, James cited his attendant as an influencing factor.  “She empowers me.  I probably would not have the energy to be there if I didn’t have attendant care.”

The relationship that James and his ILCWR attendant share is one of the best parts of the service he receives.  “I tend to call her the daughter I never had,” he said.  “We have a very good relationship.”    

James’ attendant has provided great continuity for James—she has visited him in each of the four homes he has lived in throughout the past decade, has adapted to the changes that come with aging with a disability, and even attended his recent wedding.

Clearly, James’ Outreach services extend beyond the personal care, housekeeping and shopping assistance that he receives each week.  “My attendant care worker,” he continued, “is someone who understands my journey, and who understands me.”



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December 14th, 2017
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