Nominate US at Extreme Makeover Home Edition PLEASE for a PLACID RETREAT for THE HANDICAP and ELDERLY to Come Relax at the Waters edge FREE (salon day, fish day, gardening day, peddle boat the lake, float in a tube, all for FREE ...with YOUR HELP!! sign now

5/30/2008
Nominate US at Extreme Makeover Home Edition PLEASE for a PLACID RETREAT for THE HANDICAP and ELDERLY to Come Relax at the Waters edge FREE (salon day, fish day, gardening day, peddle boat the lake, float in a tube, all for FREE ...with YOUR HELP!!
To Whose Heart this reaches:
My (placid retreat) Mission: "Promoting Independence and Denying Limitations with the Help of Nature and Nurture"
I own and live in a small home on a SAND BOTTOM, beautiful, NO WAKE, 40 foot deep, 17 acre, Private lake. (clean, quiet, and safe with only small electric boat motors allowed)
I will get right to the point, then you can read further if you have the time or interest. I live on a lake in Michigan and want to share this with every handicapped, nursing home resident within driving distance of here (By Appointment ONLY), FREELY (at no cost to them). I need help making my property barrier free and down to the lake wheelchair accessible. I have a 1 chair (private) beauty salon in my home and would like that to be part of the FREE experience. I want to offer these people a spa day or fishing day, gardening day or swimming day completely FREE. If I had the finances it would already be in operation. I am available to run it now, as I work only part time and at home. Now I have set the stage I will explain further if you have the time...
Living with me is my brother H, 35 and our best friend Jim who had a stroke and brain hemorrhage at 32 years of age, 4 years ago. H was aappointed Jim's lifetime guardian, Jim gets disability/social security, but feels like he isn't earning it properly, he needs to be having a "job" in order to feel useful to society. No one in this town has hired him, though he is extremely intelligent, and has worked 2-3 jobs at a time since he was just 16. He was managing a mall beauty salon when he had his stroke...at the same time he was a full time server at a chain restaurant.
Jim carries himself very professionally, and physically you can't tell he had a stroke. To keep Jim busy, he and H tore out our nasty lawn and have put in just gardens all the way around our house and down to the water. Mind you it is a small 500 sq ft house, but as you read on I hope you will see the potential for it bringing joy and meaning to a lot of lives.
H works 4 miles away at the local Hospital in the Long Term Care department. We are BOTH Exam Certified Nurse Assistants (CENA) We lost our Mother to cancer 13 years ago, she was just 59 years old. I think that is why H and I are so close to the elders at the Hospital. Many of THEM have outlived their own children,and we feel a family like closeness to them.
My brother and I both went to school for Cosmetology, (I have had my license 30 years). One of the small bedrooms in my home we had converted into a one chair salon. THAT was my life dream, and now it is reality! It is not open to the public, but rather by invitation only...friends and family. It really beats giving a haircut out in the yard.
NOW FOR THE NEW DREAM... Due to the HIPPA information privacy laws I will not give her name or any of the details of her illness (though I do have her permission to, and she asked me to enclose her swimming picture with this letter!) Last year for the first time we brought one of the ladies from the Long term care facility at the hospital where H works, out to this house. H lifted her from my truck and carried her down the steps out into the lake and set her in an inner-tube to float around the lake. Her legs are arthritically bent into a stiff sitting position, which surprisingly allowed her pain free to sit in an inner-tube PERFECTLY! She was in heaven, H attached her inner-tube to the row boat and towed her around the lake! We took pictures which she proudly posted on the tack board in her room at the hospital., She speaks of her outing and shows off the pictures still!!
*** We forget so easily the simple things these residents long for, things they took for granted before their disabilities made them leave their homes --never to return. Many times these people haven't had ANY planning time when they leave (or lose) their homes. They fall or get ill...go into the hospital...and straight to a nursing home. They lose their independence, and most of their possessions at the same time. They have to give up their pets, many have family living hundreds of miles away.
H and I have both been highly complimented on our ability to help restless elders relax by polishing their nails, or setting their hair, or massaging lotion into their aching bodies at the hospital...but the possibilities are endless HERE at our PLACID RETREAT!
We brought that particular elderly woman home for the day, because she is small enough H could lift and carry her from my truck down the steps to the water.
We need to OVERCOME THOSE LIMITATIONS and get MORE handicap and elderly to the lake!! This would be by appointment ONLY, and couples or very small groups at a time, because this is a private lake and we desire to not to ruin the quiet beauty.
The sweatheart he is, H my brother is also a REIKI MASTER which he has worked for years to achieve. I don't know if you are familiar with this healing technique, the word Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy. Reiki is a method of stress reduction that also promotes healing. Physicians and nurses are beginning to recognize its value and have begun adding it to services provided by hospitals, medical clinics, and hospice programs. It is indicated that Reiki reduces stress, decreases the need for pain medication, improves sleep and appetite, and accelerates the healing process. They also indicate that Reiki reduces many of the unwanted side effects of radiation and drugs, including chemotherapy.
What We Desire....Our New Dream.....
I am not asking for anything to be done inside the house because I believe it would be too expensive to make the salon and house handicap available as a "public" facility. The House is just too small to make legally barrier free, but that is OK. We want to make this a 100\% FREE... "get away", "spa day", "fishing day", or "campfire evening" for the handicap or elderly to visit the lake.
I forgot to mention our lake is in Kalkaska, Michigan. Quiet, peaceful, and beautiful, perfect for the elderly and handicap!

1> I need a wheelchair ramp to the front door so I can bring residents into the beauty shop for a FREE "spa" day. Nails, hair, facial and make-up...how fun! (haircut, color, whatever)
2> I need a wheelchair ramp to go around the house, down the short distance zig zagging through the gardens to the water.
3> I need this ramp to end as a large size permanent dock out over the water with safety railings so it can be FISHED off of. Most of the men at Facilities (nursing homes) have never been able to fish since leaving their families! And what a nice range-of-motion workout for them, fishing pole in hand.
4>I need a hoist that can lift individuals from their wheelchairs to boats or inner-tubes in the water. {We are familiar with (and use) the hoyer and arjo at the hospital}
5>It would be nice to have a small boat house out on that dock to keep towels, safety rings, and life jackets in. Then that same room could keep the hoist out of the weather when not in use.
6> I need to have a few Life Jackets, swim trunks for men and suits for the ladies, and fishing tackle that I can store here in the boat house. (That previous inner-tube floater wore MY swimsuit)
7) I have 2 peddle boats now, but both are in need of repair, so I need something done to make them welded again.
H and I get sizable tips doing the hair of friends and family, with this we keep the small salon stocked with perms and colors, that's how we have already taken care of some of the residents (at the hospital)
The lake has MANY species of fish easy to catch. There are only 15-20 homes on the lake so it is quiet. There is NO public access, and NO speed boats are allowed.
The lake is BEAUTIFUL also in the winter and with the kind of dock i wrote about we could take wheelchair bound residents out there even in the winter! It will be such a joy to have a hotdog roast with a contained fire where the residents can forget their aches and pains, and just have hot chocolate and enjoy the beauty! (I could set some tip-ups for them to watch!)
I watched 3 deer cross the lake on the ice last year! A sight I will never forget!
This will help Jim to feel he is giving back to society, by helping in the scheduling and overseeing the spa day or fishing or swimming day visits we get. With H and I both certified to work with the handicap and elderly and certified in CPR, What a wonderful gift to the community! The residents at the Long Term Facilities at the Hospital alone number 90...HUNDREDS more within a 30 mile radius.
*** There are so many Charities that grant "last wishes" to people that are terminal, I CONSIDER OLD AGE TERMINAL and am trying to think outside the box to make aging not so boring, painful or lonely!
We feel VERY fortunate to be able to live in such beautiful surroundings, I stay at home (working eBay to cover my bills), and would like to FREELY share the joy and beauty with those that are stuck in the nursing home environment and can no longer return to their own homes and memories. No one is ever too old to create new, joyful memories! We want to offer this FREELY to those in the nursing home / adult care community. Imagine ...Wives AT HOME taking care of a wheelchair bound husband...Make an APPOINTMENT......BRING HIM TO THE LAKE! He can fish from the dock supervised, or just enjoy the beauty, while you get your hair done...I'm thinking she would jump at the chance for a FREE day spa vacation!
OF COURSE no one has ever been charged for the use of the lake. And we intend to continue this way. We fully intend to KEEP the lake as peaceful and beautiful as it is now ...this is NOT intended as a big COMMERCIAL adventure... that would be defeating our purpose!
If I could afford to make these accessibility changes they would already be done!
I am begging you ...EVERYONE consider our needs and wants, and the reasons behind them, and if it is in your heart ...PLEASE contact Extreme Makeover Home Edition and NOMINATE us.
http://abc.go.com/primetime/xtremehome/index?pn=index
thank-you Cynthia Smith
Cena, Cosmetologist, eBay guru
Placid Retreat ... Smith residence, Lake Placid, Kalkaska, Michigan
Placid Beautique [email protected]

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