Madge George, a self-described “go-getter,” has a heart for helping others.
She attended both Ohio University and Columbus State Community College and received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Madge described her college experience as challenging and empowering.
She got her degree because she wanted to help people. “I believe crime always starts little and then gets bigger. If we can catch it while it’s little, maybe the big stuff won’t happen.” She’s long been interested in criminal justice reform and advocating for LGBTQ rights. Now, she wants to use her talents and education to develop programs for youth.
We welcomed Madge into our Supported Community Living (SCL) program in 2009. Prior to that, she had experienced homelessness and made multiple attempts to fit in with different agencies.
But for her, Open Door was different. She had glowing words to say about many of our staff she interacts with. “Teather is awesome because she’ll help me with anything she can, and I really appreciate that,” said Madge. She added that Jamie and Jessica were “instrumental in trying to help me reach my goals.”
More than anything, Madge values independence and privacy in her home, which led her to consider the new remote supports we offer in SCL homes.
Madge uses a wheelchair and still wanted her staff to be there for meals, personal care, medication administration, and community engagement. But other than that, she wanted to build in times in her schedule where she was alone.
Individuals have, at times, had difficulty receiving remote supports if they had some type of physical need.. In Madge’s case, she’s someone who had staff around the clock, and in some ways that limited her ability to think independently.
She told her staff, “I think it would be really cool if I could do remote supports.” When they laid out her routine, there were times where she did not need physical assistance and did not need the staff to be physically present.
A camera was installed in her home last summer. “I really like it because it gives me a sense of independence,” she said.
Remote supports enable individuals to contact staff at any time if assistance is needed. How the camera can be used in the home is addressed on a case-by-case basis; for Madge, she utilizes a single camera at night when staff presence in her home wasn’t necessary.
The camera is placed in her living room, which also sees into her bedroom. In addition, her home has multiple sensors which can detect motion or sounds, so remote staff is always aware of what’s going on and if assistance is needed by appropriately responding to any situation using a phone or tablet.
It’s worked very well, with no incidents, and she’s been happy with it. It also helps maximize efficiency in the I/DD system, allowing us to place resources, like in-person staff, where they’re needed most.
Madge is confident this type of remote support could be helpful for other individuals.
Supported Community Living
Learn more about our SCL homes, the admission process, and our new remote supports!