Most individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) require support throughout their lives. Thanks to advancements in medicine, adults with developmental disabilities are living longer and healthier lives. This means that for individuals with I/DD, whose parents did not want someone else caring for their child, they and their parental care givers are aging in place together.
According to the Arc, in the United States alone, nearly 900,000 family caregivers are over the age of 60. And the number of adults with I/DD aged 60 and older is projected to nearly double from 641,860 in 2000 to 1.2 million by 2030.
While most aging caregivers implicitly understand the need for future planning to ensure continuity of care for their adult child with disabilities, the mutually dependent relationships developed from decades of sharing a home make this more of a challenge. It is difficult for the caregiver to bear the thought of no longer caring and advocating for their child, many older parents also experience sadness of separating from a lifetime of companionship. Separation anxiety is a very real emotion at any age.
Such was the situation of a Care Design NY member who lived with her 101-year-old mother. While the COVID-19 health crisis disrupted and wreaked havoc for hundreds and thousands of American lives, including this family who Care Design NY supported.
The mother became immediately ill and was transported by ambulance to the hospital from the home she shared with her adult daughter with I/DD. She would never return to the home. Overnight, the daughter became separated from the only person who took care of her every need for decades.
Fortunately, the care coordination supports included a line of communication with relatives who notified the Care Manager. She intervened quickly to de-escalate the emergency situation. The Care Manager worked with a provider agency and OPWDD to identify and secure emergency residential placement for the member. The screening process was accelerated, and the woman was accepted into a safe and secure residence with direct support professionals. The Care Manager was also able to quickly intervene and arrange the necessary financial support from Medicaid to pay for her medical and living expenses. The Care Manager’s support and interventions made a critical difference for this member to successfully bridge an unsafe living situation to a viable new living arrangement with support.
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8 Southwoods Blvd
Albany, NY 12211