Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I want to remind you about something called Giving Tuesday which takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving…..this year on Nov. 29th. I want to tell you about an organization that is worthy of your consideration.

PLAN of Southwest Ohio is an organization which answers the question that many local families are asking, “Who will care for my loved one with severe mental illness and chronic disability when I’m no longer around. PLAN (Planned Lifetime Assistance Network) provides peace of mind for those families who want assurance that someone will look after their loved one’s quality of life.
PLAN helped Dale (name changed for privacy) and his family, for instance.
When you meet Dale, you can’t help but like him. His bright blue eyes and friendly smile suck you in immediately, and his long mane of graying blond hair, which has always been his trademark, quickly comes up in conversation.
“My family used to want me to cut it, but I think they like it now”, he says. He speaks warmly of his family, particularly his sisters who frequently call him from their out of state homes. Dale knows they are worried about him, but seems puzzled as to why.
Dale never set out to become a “family problem”….
In fact Dale had a very promising early life. Smart, funny, and little rebellious, he loved rock music, travel, and hanging out with his friends. He had loving and supportive parents, and three sisters who doted on him. Dale got to see the world early in life, traveling overseas for his father’s job before his father finally settled in Ohio for a university faculty position.
And that’s when trouble started for Dale. He changed from a carefree and life loving young man to one who was sullen, moody, and occasionally lashed out. He started drinking, and did so heavily. He stopped caring for himself, and stayed up all night, drinking and listening to loud music. On occasion he talked to people who weren’t there.
A psychiatrist finally delivered the devastating diagnosis: Dale had schizophrenia.
By the time PLAN met Dale, he was drinking daily, off medication to treat schizophrenia, and living in an apartment that was a flop house for homeless people Dale invited in. His aging father, panicked for his safety, contacted PLAN who kept Dale fed until they could make a case for him to be held for psychiatric observation. Once he stabilized, Dale’s team moved him to a neighboring county where he couldn’t buy alcohol and his situation improved dramatically. Until last year, that is.
PLAN re-engaged Dale again 13 years after first meeting him. His out of county placement had ended badly, and Dale returned home, resumed drinking, and became seriously mentally ill again. He’d ended up at the state psychiatric hospital. Dale’s father, by now dealing with dementia, set PLAN in motion again and PLAN:
• found Dale a personal guardian to make legal decisions for him;
• located a safe place for him to live;
• found private staff to help him comply with his medication regimen;
• became his benefit payee and limited his access to cash (thus limiting his access to alcohol); and
• invited him to PLAN recreation outings for structure, socialization, and fun!
Dale’s father, ill as he is, at least knows that PLAN is taking care of Dale. His sisters, all of whom live out of state, are vastly relieved to know that PLAN is keeping Dale as safe as possible. And Dale, though not out of the woods just yet, has a chance to resume living in the community with some things to look forward to with PLAN.
I’m asking you, to support PLAN this Giving Tuesday. PLAN offers hope and peace to families and individuals dealing with the heartache of disability, and with the often more distressing question of future care of vulnerable loved ones with disabilities.
Please support the important work of PLAN this year! Please direct a contribution via check to PLAN, 9350 Floral Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45242 or visit www.planswohio.org and make a donation via the PLAN website, and thank you!

Sincerely,

Stacy Martz
Executive Director
PLAN of Southwest Ohio
9350 Floral Ave
Cincinnati Ohio 45252

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Shared by: Stacy Martz, PhD, Director of PLAN of Southwest Ohio

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