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Letter: More group homes needed for people with disabilities

More group homes needed for people with disabilities

On Friday, my son Danny will be 18 years old. My family will be celebrating his special day, but at the same time, dealing with a very heavy cloud hanging over us. Danny is developmentally disabled and is non-verbal. While he has made great strides through the years, he still needs a great deal of assistance with socializing, activities of daily living, eating “safe” foods due to allergies, bathing, toileting, etc. He will always need assistance with the above mentioned and will require 24/7 care. The future weighs heavy on my mind. Who will take care of my son when my husband and I are no longer able to and where will he live?

Danny’s 11-year-old sister is incredibly compassionate, kind and loving toward him. She includes him in just about everything. But as her mother, I don’t feel it is fair to put such a big responsibility on her to care for her brother when I am no longer able. I want my daughter to live out her hopes and dreams, while still being a huge part of Danny’s life. Of course, she will advocate for him and include him in family functions, but for her to have Danny live with her is not an option. I don’t want my daughter to end up resenting her brother. Restoring funding for staffed community residences is crucial to my son’s safety and quality of life. He will need a group home, but our lawmakers in Albany don’t seem to get it!

Nora A. Welsh