Mental Health Advocacy
Mental illness is finally being recognized by our society as a serious, debilitating medical condition. Mental illness can limit an individual’s ability to function effectively with in the community, and it has a negative effect on every single aspect of the person’s life. Our IKOR mental health advocates are experienced at working with individuals with complex mental health concerns. We are aware of the public and private programs within the mental health system, and we help unravel and resolve complications and concerns related to getting the individualized care that our clients need to recover. Our goal has always been to understand the client’s needs, obtain the best possible care, educate families, and alter living arrangements, when necessary, to provide the client with the best opportunity for success. Our team has extensive experience, connections, and the professional credentials to support our clients to get the help they need. We’re also skilled at supporting families who have struggled for years to gain clarity and understanding of mental health programs and services offered in our communities. Our team members have navigated cases for hundreds of mental health clients in our careers and we know how to leverage the resources and programs to advocate for the best interest of our clients.
Some of the conditions our professionals have addressed are:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Autism/Asperger Syndrome
- Substance Abuse (Chemical/Alcoholism)
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Physical Limitations Advocacy
Physical limitations obtained either from birth, by accident or illness are not only a visible sign of challenges but the basis of misunderstanding and prejudice for every person who must deal with this type of disability. For those who love or try to help, the frustration of not knowing where to begin occurs nearly every day. Our team has helped many families and professionals identify the needs, and connect with the resources to support the abilities of people with Physical Limitations.
Even when care is established, such as when home care is in place, and doctors are involved, our team has been successful in streamlining and coordinating the services, many times heightening successful outcomes.
We offer services and guidance to those who have:
- Mulitple Sclerosis
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Chronically Disabled
- Intellectual Disabilities
Intellectual Disabilities Advocacy
Intellectually Disabled Individuals often begin their journey from birth. The journey is a long and difficult one, not just for them, but for their parents and families. In these cases, IKOR involvement goes beyond “quarterbacking” the medical aspects for the client and includes advocating for our client to maximize services within the school and vocational programs as well.
Accessing all available public programs is an integral part of the IKOR process. IKOR educates parents, and many times the vocational and educational partners, of the options available, giving them the information needed to create the most life-affirming choices for the client.
We help build dreams of a truly fulfilled life for our intellectually disabled clients.
Some of the conditions our professionals have addressed are:
- Down’s Syndrome
- Birth Defects
- Head Injury
- Assisting Those in Need
Many of our clients are challenged in some aspects of their life while very capable in others. IKOR does a thorough needs assessment, develops a strategic plan, and assists in helping individual lives as an enriched, fulfilled, and independent life as possible.
We keep up with changes in FINRA rule changes as it relates to vulnerable adults and the Seniors Safe Act for financial exploitation and we are well versed in the care related areas and expenditures of Special Needs Trusts.
IKOR of Western Pennsylvania helps in these and other areas:
Home Modifications – Physical changes made to one’s home to accommodate the changing needs of the elderly or disabled. As we age, our mobility and physical strength diminish, and aspects of a house that were once functional become difficult. Home modifications can be as simple as adding rail bars to the bathroom, a chairlift to a stairway, or as comprehensive as adding a ramp or an accessible bathroom addition to the home.
Accessible Home Building – Accessible floor plans can feature wider hallways and doorways, space for a wheelchair turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps, and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope doors, faucets, and drawers, accessible switches, no-step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and workspaces, and other specialty features. We work with specialists in this area to ensure that the money spent on Accessible Homes meet the needs of the individual and not the contractor.
Life Enhancement – Coordination of activities for quality of life that reflects the varied interests of the individual that provides them with meaningful and life-enriching activities.
Vocational Areas – We work with Vocational Rehabilitation and providers to identify an individual’s level of functioning as it relates to vocational preparation and employment decision making. We consider life purpose and financial benefits in this process and work with resources to find appropriate opportunities to balance life purpose needs with financial needs.
Educational Areas – When we work with children, our team members will attend Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings to help plan an educational program that is tailored to the needs of each disabled child. The child’s “team” attends the meeting: teachers, therapists, parents, school administrators, and any other invited parties. The IKOR Advocate attends these meetings to ensure that school programs meet the needs of the child and their best interests.
Supportive Equipment & Technology – Assistive technology includes any device or piece of equipment that can be used to help a person perform some activity or improve their ability to function. Many different types of devices can be used to allow for participation in more activities, enhance learning, improve communication, hearing, and mobility, and to make life easier. Assistive technology is crucial in helping individuals with disabilities succeed. We leverage technology to enhance the quality of life of our clients.
Pennsylvania Waiver and Service Coordination Support for Seniors and Individuals with Special Needs Trusts – We are familiar with Aging and/or Disability Waiver Service Coordination services that are available to those who live in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Department of Health & Humana Services provides services for those over the age of 60 and/or those with a physical disability based on financial eligibility. The waiver programs are available to help individuals to live in their home and community with support and services. We’re informed and work in collaboration with service coordinators and State and County program providers, improving how these programs operate for our clients. Sometimes based on financial needs, family members can be paid for the care they provide through waiver programs. We’re informed on how to navigate waiver programs.
If you have questions about how our Disability Advocacy Services might best support a senior, an adult with disabilities, or a child with special needs in your life, call the office today for a complimentary consultation to learn more about us.
Services / Disability Advocacy