Fall Newsletter 2021

September 2021
 
A letter from Dawn Dixon
ConnectAbility, Executive Director
 

Summer has come and gone and Autumn is here. We are all looking forward to some cooler temperatures! We were saddened that we had to cancel our Flash Back to the ’80s and ’90s event in September, but our first priority is to keep everyone safe. We hope to have an in-person Holiday event in early December, so stay tuned. 

We currently offer our support groups virtually, and are eagerly awaiting the “green light” so we can begin to host support groups and other activities at our offices. Please continue to visit our website www.myconnectability.org to see the latest ConnectAbility events, blogs, and calendars. In this newsletter, we highlight some of our offerings for Caregivers.
 
We continue to strive to keep us all connected during this unprecedented time and look forward to the day when we can all be in the same room and celebrate!
 
We look forward to seeing you soon. Until then, stay safe and connected!
 
Cheers!
 
Dawn Dixon

HERO SPOTLIGHT
Raquel Resendez

Raquel Resendez had a limb amputation in November 2019. She went to the hospital after being in pain. It started with an infection on her toe. She was scared and didn’t know how she could pay her hospital bills. In her rehabilitation at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, she was told that she was very strong. While in the hospital, Raquel’s Case Manager referred her to ConnectAbility.
 
“God was so good to me.”
 
ConnectAbility set Raquel up with Care Coordinator Lisa. She helped her complete the application for funding a prosthetic. Raquel had no insurance and was no longer able to do the job that she was trained to do, which was housekeeping. She was living by herself in an upstairs apartment.
 
Raquel had to scoot down the stairs to get to the first floor of my apartment building. Her brother would leave her wheelchair at the bottom of the stairs. But when she was alone, or during the summer when the stairs were too hot, she had no way to get downstairs. Lisa worked with Raquel and her apartment manager to move Raquel to a first floor apartment, allowing her to get around easier. Lisa also helped her follow through and understand the Social Security Disability process.

“I think God sent an angel to me. Lisa was so good to me. She would hear me out. I was just living my normal life, but then my life turned upside down. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. With Lisa’s help, I met Irene at Martinez Street Women’s Center, who helped me get to doctor’s appointments and supplies that I needed. I was so lonely and Lisa was right there holding my hand. I’m so grateful for both Lisa and Irene.”

“Today, I am able to depend on myself. I am able to get around using my prosthetic leg. I am able to water my plants, walk to the restroom, and take care of my home. I would like for those who read my story to know that if it wasn’t for ConnectAbility, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Raquel_1

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
Laura Ramos

“I am very blessed with this job. AACOG is a great family and I am part of a wonderful team of ladies under Benefits Counseling. Each one of us has a different level of expertise, different backgrounds and situations that we continuously learn from, and work together to share and help the people that we serve.”
Laura Ramos has worked with Health and Human Services Commission for over 20 years under various programs including Department of Aging and Disability Services (formerly known as DADS); Community Based Alternatives (formerly CBA, which transitioned to StarPlus Waiver Medicaid); Medicaid for the Elderly and Disabled, and she has worked with Nursing Facility applications and other programs as well.
In 2015, she started working as Benefits Counselor with the Area agency on Aging, providing assistance with Medicare issues, plan comparisons, enrollments and, with Medicare cost share savings benefits such as Medicare Savings Programs; Extra Help; SNAP Food Stamps; Long Term Care Medicaid to cover Provider services; Nursing Facility Medicaid; StarPlus Waiver Medicaid; Weatherization; LIHEAP and guidance or referrals for other applicable benefits. AACOG partners with different community agencies, and if what the client needs is out of their hands, they will try to connect them to other agencies and services that may be able to help them.
ConnectAbility is one of AACOG’s partners. They come alongside with us to help patients understand and get through the Medicare maze. Families going through a stressful situation with illness, compounded by mounting medical bills need that connection. The ConnectAbility staff have been very vital in empowering patients and collaborating with us to advocate and assist with applications and benefits the patients may be eligible for.
9AM – 12PM: In-Person abilitySTRONG Parade @ Hemisfair park 2PM – 6PM: Virtual AccessAbility fest (Online and App Access)
The 15th Annual AccessAbility fest will kick-off virtually, October 2nd at 2:00 PM featuring numerous information sessions, and exhibitors with information, products, programs and services that promote independence and inclusion where individuals with disabilities live, work and play.

Caregiver Groups

Join us every month to share, learn, and find support with other caregivers who also care for someone with a disability.

2nd Tuesday 7 PM – 8 PM
4th Tuesday 7 PM – 8 PM

Meet the Facilitators

Mari Garcia was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, the place she still calls home. Mari joined ConnectAbility as a volunteer in 2018, supporting and advocating for caregivers after her mother suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2012. 
 
Mari shares responsibilities with her family in caring for her mother. She is passionate about reaching other caregivers and providing education and resources to families and the individuals they care for. Mari has been in the field of community social work for 20 years and currently works as a full time Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the community. 
Ryan Pflipsen, MS, MSW, LCSW was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where his parents still live. He is a private practitioner, consultant, speaker, and advocate for people with disabilities and their family members & caregivers in San Antonio, Texas, where he has lived since 1996.  
 
Ryan joined ConnectAbility as a consultant in 2018 and helped launch the in-person and online caregiver support and social groups. As a person with a disability, born with spina bifida, Ryan assists disabilitySA in advocacy efforts and also works to make San Antonio more physically accessible. 

Upcoming Events

Bingo
Wednesday, Oct. 6
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
 
Join Club Connect for virtual bingo! There are prizes for winners!
Medicare Tune-Up
Tuesday, Oct. 19
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
 
Gilda Castro will discuss the changes for 2022 Medicare and how this could affect you and your benefits.