MLK Jr. Day of Service Turns Into Speaking Up For a Friend

Monday night, January 18, 2010
Three weeks ago, I thought I would be working today at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. REGIONAL SHORELINE in Oakland. However, because of overwhelming registration, the organizers didn’t need me.

In a way, I did have a Day of Service. I made phone calls on behalf of my friend (to report elder abuse from a home-care agency).

The phone numbers below came from mental health advocates from Alameda and Contra Costa counties; they encouraged me to file reports.

Adult Protective Service 925-646-2854 serving Contra Costa County, CA

http://www.cdss.ca.gov/agedblinddisabled/

Disability Rights CA 510-267-1200 (formerly State Protection & Advocacy) http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/

Consumer Assistance 1-800-779-0787

After I made the phone calls (left voicemail at the second & third numbers; a person answered at Adult Protective Service and told me a social worker would call me back even though today was a holiday…so professional and reassuring).

Jan. 22, 2010

I learned from  Adult Protective Service and Disability Rights CA that because  home-care services are “businesses”I would need to make a complaint and also report abuse http://ccld.ca.gov/ as well as contact Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org/us/ Complaints: http://www.bbb.org/us/Consumer-Complaints/

While researching, I found http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/home-care-services/HO00084 Mayo Clinic website which has and answers regarding home care services. The text below inside [   ] came from the Mayo Clinic website:

[ If you’re considering a home care services agency:

  • How does the agency hire and train caregivers? Does the agency provide continuing education?
  • Are the caregivers licensed in their fields and insured?
  • How closely does the agency’s supervisor evaluate the quality of home care?
  • Do the agency’s employees seem friendly and helpful? Make sure you feel comfortable with the agency’s representatives.

If you’re considering a home health aide:

  • Does the home health aide have a good temperament? Make sure you or your loved one feels comfortable with the home health aide. ]

http://www.hcbs.org/ which I will review later.

Jan. 18, 2010

I’m blogging about this because: 1) I want to share those phone numbers and URLs; 2) I think writers make for great advocates (writing down our observations; reporting the observations); and 3) I need to remind myself to be true to myself and honor the powerful voice of the written word.

On Saturday, 40 writers at California Writers Club-SF Peninsula Branch heard how VP Linda Okerlund introduced me.

“Teresa LeYung Ryan wears 3 hats . . . [the third hat] She is a community spirit who uses her first book Love Made of Heart to inspire adult-children of mentally-ill parents to speak openly and unabashedly about the stigmas their parents suffer.”

To speak openly about illness and stigmas and continue being aware–these are my duties.

Today after I made the calls, I was rewarded by wonderful comments on my blog post from the writers at Saturday’s “Major League Tryouts for Building Your Name.”
I thought about my mom (who’s my biggest angel); I remember how she needed someone to speak up on her behalf.

I’d like to think that Mom is watching over me, inspiring me to use words to help people. Writers need help too. A dear writer-friend said to me today: “How do we find time to blog and build our names when we’re writing books?” My respond was: “Our books deserved to be read by people. But, how would people read our books if they don’t know that our books exist?”

To all writers who want others to buy your work, read your work, talk about your work, I encourage you to tell yourself this everyday: “My work deserves to be read by many. My work deserves to be promoted; I’m the best person for the job.”

Sincerely,
Coach Teresa
Teresa LeYung Ryan

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