For Our Families
How You Can Help Your Family Member at PLACES
PLACES welcomes the involvement of family members in the lives of residents, clients and tenants. We believe involvement with family and friends is critical to recovery. Over time, the staff at PLACES has learned that individuals who are involved with their families are happier and more stable than those who have become estranged.
Here are some ways you can get involved with your family member at PLACES:
- Call and visit your family member. Our Residential Adult Care Facilities have generous visiting hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. If you need to make special arrangements to visit your family member, contact the coordinator of your family member’s facility. Clients in our Supportive Living Program and tenants of our Housing First Program live in their own homes or apartments and may have visitors at any time.
- Invite your family member to join you for family gatherings and holidays, if possible. PLACES will ensure that adequate preparations are made. If the visit is overnight, we’ll ensure that appropriate clothing and medication are packed.
- Attend case conferences and meetings, if your family member agrees. For example, since you have the longest history with your family member, you may want to give input into the Mental Health Plan for Care or Individual Client Plan, if your family member agrees.
- Attend the annual Holiday Party in December for residents, clients, tenants and their families. Social activities include dinner, dancing, a fashion show and karaoke. The Holiday Party is an excellent opportunity for our residents, clients and tenants to reinforce the many community living skills they have learned throughout the year. Reduced price tickets are available for family members.
- Join your family member for an activity planned by PLACES. Contact the coordinator of your family member’s facility, or review the current Supportive Living Program Activities Calendar.
- Pay close attention to your family member. If you notice changes or reemergence of symptoms, contact the coordinator of your family member’s PLACES program.
- Let us know how we are doing in caring for your family member. Contact the coordinator of your family member’s PLACES program first, or the second.
How You Can Help Yourself
Having a family member with a chronic health problem is stressful. When the chronic health problem is a mental health disorder, the stress is increased because of:
- The sometimes erratic behavior of your family member
- Public misconceptions about mental illness
You are not alone. Here are some things others in your situation have found helpful:
- Contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Montgomery County at 937-299-3667. NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, was established in 1979 for mental health clients and their families as a self-help organization dedicated to providing support, education and advocacy to anyone affected by persistent, biologically based brain disorders or mental illnesses. NAMI Montgomery County, a chapter of NAMI Ohio, can help family members understand the illnesses and learn how others have coped.
- Be easy on yourself. Mental illnesses are brain disorders; you didn’t cause your family member’s illness. Make sure you do things you enjoy during your leisure time. Let the people who provide services to your family member share the responsibility for his or her care.
Also see our list of Resources on Mental Health.
How You Can Help Your Community
Get involved in efforts to support quality care for individuals with mental illnesses. Your support can take many forms. For example, you can:
- Advocate for measures to improve care
- Contribute to programs that provide services
- Volunteer your time
You may want to check out the following organizations:
- NAMI Montgomery County and NAMI Ohio advocate in the Ohio legislature for improved services.
- The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board for Montgomery County holds public meetings each month to make decisions about the care of people experiencing mental illnesses, including your family member.
Nearly all agencies accept donations of goods, time or money. Donate to PLACES, review our Wish List of items needed, or volunteer for the PLACES Board of Trustees by contacting the executive director.