Newsletter – Fall 2021

Teaching Valuable Skills & Building Independence

Lifetime’s Pre-Voc staff are celebrating a remarkable 163 years of combined services!

The incredible staff at Lifetime Assistance are helping the people to learn new skills, find meaningful jobs and take pride in their contributions to the community.

“I believe that teaching valuable life skills and seeing people achieve higher levels of independence,  is the reason for longevity at LAICO,” says Kyle Preston, Production Manager of LAICO Industries and Classified Scanning and Shredding. “The staff in Pre-Voc enjoy teaching job skills to the people we support and seeing their success. When someone can move on to integrated work in the community, it is very rewarding.”

More than 200 people supported by Lifetime Assistance have moved from Vocational Services into inclusive community work settings.

LAICO staff help each person identify their interests, assets, and challenges and explore job opportunities. Individualized plans map out strategies and supports to provide the greatest potential for success in attaining and retaining vocational goals.

In conjunction with local school districts and BOCES, LAICO offers transitional vocational opportunities for students, job readiness training and coaching.

Partnerships with state agencies provide Supported Employment Services to help individuals gain competitive employment in the community.

Karen Young, a 35-year veteran and Direct Support Professional, loves when the people she supports receive an award, get a job in the community they enjoy and are successful. “The people I work with are very hard workers who love their jobs and have a great sense of humor, which makes work a lot of fun.”

“Helping others achieve success is the greatest job,” says Linda Kadlec, Assistant Production. “When I see how happy and proud they are of their hard work, I cannot help but smile; I am just as proud. Those are the best days,”

“To make a difference in someone’s life by helping them learn new skills and find employment is what I am most proud,” says 11-year employee Ashley Lowe. “We’re a big family here. We love and respect one another and I deeply care about their success in life.

Manager. “How they see themselves, their accomplishments, the friendships they make along the way, and their perception of themselves are all measures of success.


$300,000 Grant Gives Lifetime’s Transportation Services a Big Lift

Lifetime’s transportation services are getting a big lift from a $300,000 grant received from the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Public Transportation grants program. Scott Rickner, Lifetime Assistance’s Transportation Fleet Coordinator, says, “This grant will help us purchase four new full-size wheelchair vans to replace four aging vans, 60 tablets to assist drivers, and computer hardware and software to provide automated routing and record-keeping systems to increase efficiency. The new routing system is similar to what school bus drivers use and will allow the Lifetime drivers to find the most efficient and quickest routes. The federal funding program provides funding to improve accessibility and mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities. It is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation with oversight from the Federal Transit Administration. The number of people we support through transportation continues to increase as the community and state reopens. The vehicles, computer tablets and software will help tremendously, providing safe, reliable and efficient transportation for the people we support.


Remembering Mitchell, a Leader and Role Model for Others

Their generous donation to Lifetime’s Independence Together campaign was made in memory of Roger’s late brother Mitchell, for the exceptional and thoughtful care that played an integral role in helping him grow and thrive. Mitchell received support services from Lifetime until he passed away in 1997 when he was in his late 30s.

“Lifetime Assistance lifted an enormous curtain that had kept Mitchell from being associated with the rest of the world. It’s a great organization that deserves financial support.”

Before connecting with Lifetime, Mitchell lived a somewhat lonely life. He was legally blind, had many phobias, and often kept to himself. His experiences through Lifetime changed that. His packaging job organized through Lifetime built his confidence, gave him purpose and a sense of self-worth. He also became immersed in writing, penning stirring accounts of his experiences living with developmental disabilities.

The Kubarych family’s association with Lifetime goes back decades.

Roger, who is now retired after a career as an international economist and financial advisor, grew up on Elmgrove Road in Gates, right around the corner from Lifetime’s home on Buffalo Road.

Roger and Mitchell’s parents, Michael and Anne, had always heard good things about Lifetime Assistance and moved Mitchell into a nearby Lifetime home when Mitchell was in his 20s. Michael was a retired machinist and could fix almost anything, so he often helped with repairs at Mitchell’s home. Mitchell later moved to another Lifetime Assistance home in Brockport where he continued to flourish.

When Michael passed away more than a decade ago, he asked his sons – Roger, Daniel, and Kenneth – to continue to help Lifetime and they have been contributing to the organization annually.

“We promised our Dad we would continue to support Lifetime in every way in memory of Mitchell,” Roger said. “Mitchell touched others in so many ways. He was extremely kind. And as his self-esteem grew and he gained confidence in his abilities, he became a leader and a role model for others.”

That impact was evident at his funeral, which was attended by more than 300 people, including Lifetime staff, program participants and neighbors, and his family.

“There was absolutely nothing better than Lifetime when it came to my brother’s development. “It was a wonderful connection. The staff, fellow residents and program participants all played an integral role in improving Mitchell’s quality of life.“

We will always remember Mitchell and are extremely grateful to the Kubarych family for their ongoing generosity and for remembering Mitchell’s life and legacy in such an important way. Their gift will help others flourish and thrive as Mitchell did.


Lifetime Celebrates Nurses

Laurie Banker, Nancy Edwards, Kathy Schlosser, Debra Argus, Stacey Gray

In May we celebrated National Nurses Week. We have been faced with many challenges over this past year during the pandemic and together have accomplished so much.

We are very proud of the strong, resilient and supportive nursing team at Lifetime Assistance and are thankful for every nurse on our team.” Deb Argus, Senior VP of Health Services.

We are pleased to present two Joanne Mills Nursing Excellence awards, in memory of Joanne Mills, a registered nurse and Associate Director at Lifetime Assistance for more than 24 years and a pioneer in statewide specialized developmental disability nursing services.

Debra Argus, Sandie Hamilton, Nancy Edwards, Jessica Haines, and Laurie Banker

Award recipient Jessica Haines is compassionate, empathetic and nurturing. She is always available, diligent and professional. One of Jessica’s most regarded attributes is her calm demeanor during challenging situations. To quote Jessica’s nominator, “I feel Jessica exemplifies the true example of what being a nurse for people with developmental disabilities looks like. She is a team player with a heart of gold.”

Award recipient Kathy Schlosser significantly impacted health services and is great at collaborating with team members. She is caring, empathetic, detail-oriented, a problem solver and a great communicator. She shows great care in her interactions with the people she supports and cares deeply about the overall health and well-being of people in Lifetime services.

Congratulations Jessica and Kathy