I spent some time with Community Living Opportunities in Lawrence, Kansas (name used with permission). We did a lot of the usual brainstorming and training and swapping of tricks which was great, but I also went out to visit one of their homes so that I could check out a particular issue that they were having. When I arrived at the group home (they may have used a different term) there was a sign on the door that said something like “We’re delighted you’ve come to visit, please be patient as it may take us a while to answer the door.” I rang the bell and sure enough one of the women who lived there came to answer and it did take a while. The wait was a very fine one, and I enjoyed the fact that on the other side of the door. someone was being encouraged to be rsponsible for her home and her visitors.
While supervising a number of group homes, I have always had issues with people who would walk right in without knocking, ringing, or waiting for someone to answer. If you don’t realise at the door that this is someone else’s home, how are you going to treat the people who live there? It’s a great opportunity at the beginning of the shift for people to take a breath and remember the importance of what they are doing and show the people that they are working with that they are being respected.

Not surprisingly, inside the home reflected the same level of respect and I had a great time hanging out with the folks there (as well as coming up with a solution for their issue!)

Today after meeting with CLO nurses we drove all the way across Kansas and we’re now in Colorado. We stopped off on the way at a quirky little roadside attraction call “Prairie Dog Town” and fed the prairie dogs as well as looking at a bunch of other local animals and snakes.

Tomorrow we have a 13 hour drive to southern Utah.

:: Justin ::