Sunday, March 7, 2010

Casual Conversation into Making a Choice

Holly usually checks in with me at least once a month. She has lived alone since her boyfriend passed away 3 years ago. Sometimes she has a specific question but she also comes just to talk.
Yesterday she came in and we talked about an upcoming kidney checkup event taking place in the neighborhood. As we talked conversation steered towards thinking about the future. Holly has been living off inheritance from her mom but that it was starting to run low. She has not working in some time and was supported by her boyfriend when he was alive.

I tried to broach the subject of how she was feeling about working or filing for disability as she would eventually need a steady source of income. Was there was something stopping her from working, mentally or physically? Did she want to work? Holly said that she felt she could work and that when she was laid off she thought she could've continued working. I mentioned our sister job counseling program and asked if she was interested in participating. She said yes and I admit, it encouraged me a lot to hear that. Encouraged me to know she wanted to do something to help herself.

It took me time but I've realized that for a variety reasons many of my clients don't work. It would certainly not be easy for Holly to start working and supporting herself as a woman in her mid-fifties and after having not had a significant job history. True, economy isn't in good shape and positions aren't readily available but it's a start to have motivation to try and supportive resources help. Despite the challenge of finding work it would still be far more difficult to be approved for disability benefits. That process may take years. Not to mention the higher earnings through work. Now wait to see if she follows up.

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