Thursday, September 3, 2015

FINDING MY VOYCE

All of you know how much I dislike living in a facility. The one positive thing that has come out of my being here is that I have become affiliated with Voyce. Voyce is an organization that advocates for those of us living in long term care communities. My original goal was to become an Ombudsman. An Ombudsman is, a person who acts as a liaison  between staff and residents, addressing resident's grievances and concerns, and assisting in coming up with solutions. However, due to transportation issues and other factors, attending the necessary classes would have been too difficult for me. I was disappointed.

After reading my blog, the staff at Voyce asked me to write essays for them.  They wanted to know what my life is like now that I live in a facility. I was told that a set of questions would be drafted  from my essays and I would be  answering the questions on videotape. They wanted me to tell my story. The video would be shared with staff and residents from facilities in the area.

It took a while to coordinate everyone's schedules. August 27th was the day of filming.. I'd done all the tings women do to prepare for special events. I got my hair and nails done, chose a dressy outfit and even had my eyebrows waxed . I was nervous, but I was ready.
Setting up the equipment took time. Lots of lights, the camera and tripod. Finally everything was set. I looked into the camera and I was asked the first question. 

I talked about everything from what it was like for me here, on a daily basis, to what i thought needed to be improved to make things better for both the residents and staff. Once I began talking,I couldn't stop. Someone was listening . It was cathartic. I talked for over an hour.The entire process took about three hours. By the time we were finished I was very tired, but satisfied with the things I had shared on the video.

People were telling me now I would be famous. I didn't consent to be a part of the project for personal gain. Sure, it was fun preparing for the video,  I felt glamorous and special.  I consented to be a part  of the project because I hope the video will make a difference. That has always been my goal in whatever project I have undertaken.   Thank you to the staff at Voyce for allowing me to tell my story.  I hope it gets people thinking and talking. That's the first step in creating change.