Sat 10 Dec 2005
Wed 30 Nov 2005
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Sun 13 Nov 2005
I am unsure as to what to expect for the experience I will have at the Carlisle House. Recently, I visited a full care facility for four individuals living with mental and physical disabilities in Mechanicsburg. For me it was extremely overwhelming to see. When I walked into the home I was overcome with fear because one individual came right up to me and grabbed my hand. Three out of the four individuals were unable to talk; while the fourth was confined to a wheelchair due to spinal bifida. Therefore she was paralyzed from the waist down. We took her to see a Brooks and Dunn concert which offered me a glimpse of what life is like living with a disability. As we were walking into the concert many people would stare with a puzzling look wondering what was wrong. Also it was difficult for her to get through the crowd in her wheelchair and often we would have to wait for everyone to pass by before we could move. Other individuals would become impatient with having to wait for her to get through the crowd and would push their way through. My heart went out to her after witnessing those few brief hours of her daily life. It made me acquire a better understanding of life with a disability and a “dismodern body.” It is one thing to read and study about individuals living with disabilities, but it is another to actually witness their lives first hand.
I am unsure if the experience at the Carlisle House will be similar or not. As mentioned in class it seems as though it is often difficult to distinguish between the patients and the employees. I feel as though this experience will enable me to have a better understanding of the daily frustrations and obstacles these individuals face each and everyday. Often I take a lot of things for granted, and I feel that this experience will make me see how fortunate I am. As a Psychology major I have studied a great deal about mental disabilities, but I have not witnessed or been around many individuals with these disabilities. I hope to bring the knowledge that I have learned through my psychology courses to the individuals living at the Carlisle House, and hopefully I will be able to make a small difference and impact in their lives. I hope that I will be able to personally impact the agency by providing support and friendship to the patients involved in the Carlisle House. Often these patients simply need a friend or someone that they feel comfortable conversing with to discuss their daily obstacles and frustrations. Individuals living with mental disabilities are often viewed as crazy and insufficient; therefore it may be extremely important to them to feel as though they have someone that understands what they are going through.
I feel the Carlisle House may often experience a lack of funding and support. Working with individuals who are dealing with mental disabilities is often a frustrating and low-paying job. I feel as though the Carlisle House may have a high turnover rate in employee staffing, which makes it difficult at times for the patients to have the appropriate care. I am looking forward to this experience; I am unsure of what to expect but I know it will be highly worthwhile.