ELDERLY & HANDICAPPED
- (Medicine) physically disabled
- (Psychology) psychol denoting a person whose social behaviour or emotional reactions are in some way impaired
A disability is a condition caused by an accident, trauma, genetics or disease which may limit a person's mobility, hearing, vision, speech or mental function.
Disability issues everyone should know about:
- A double standard for murder
In cases where parents murder or attempt to kill their disabled children, they are typically described as put-upon victims, while their children’s identity and personhood fades into the background.
- Police tragedies
Deaf people often don’t respond as expected to verbal commands. Physically disabled people sometimes look or sound intoxicated. Autistic people can be extra sensitive to touch, noise, and direct confrontation. And police are often quick to assume that anyone who seems “mentally ill” is dangerous. As was in the case of Ethan Saylor, a Maryland man with Down Syndrome tacked and asphyxiated to death by mall security guards when he wouldn’t leave a movie theater, the common denominator is escalation instead of conciliation. Vastly uneven or non-existent police training on interacting with disabled citizens is a key contributor to such tragedies.
- Institutional bias in long-term care
People with severe physical or cognitive disabilities sometimes need help with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, dressing, bathing, and even using the toilet. In the past, you could only get this kind of long-term care in nursing homes or large institutions—highly regulated, hospital-like facilities cut off from the community. Today, most people who need these services prefer to get them in their own homes, in the form of visiting home care aides. For disabled people, this is about basic freedom and the right to choose an integrated life of possibilities or else be forced to live a restricted, regulated life waiting around for something to happen.
- The employment gap
In 2016, 17.9 percent of persons with a disability were employed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability was 65.3 percent.
- Special education
It’s hard to improve employment rates for disabled people if their education is substandard or lacking meaningful credentials. Unfortunately, the education picture for disabled students in the United States is mixed. Disabled students receiving special education spend 40% or more of each day in “regular” classrooms along with non-disabled peers, while the rest spend more or all of their time in segregated, sometimes isolated classes with only other disabled students. This is much more integration than was typical a few decades ago, but rates vary from state to state, and many disabled kids still spend most of their times in self-contained classes, separated from their non-disabled peers. Only 61% of disabled students earned a High school diploma. The rest of the disabled students either leave school with a non-diploma certificate that doesn’t count as a diploma for most purposes, dropped out of school, or “aged out” at 21, when the right to free public education ends.
Positive treatment – On the national scene, there is one bright and encouraging sign of re-awakening respect for life. This is embodied in widespread efforts to bring the physically and mentally challenged into the mainstream of society.
- The Special Olympics have given the mentally challenged a chance to compete, to excel, to win…and to take a praiseworthy step toward making these people accepted and understood.
- We applaud the move towards specialized classes tailored to educate the blind, the deaf, the retarded and emotionally disturbed.
- We strongly second the moves made by interested groups to upgrade the care of the elderly in nursing homes, and send forth a special plea not to let the whirlwind pace of our lives keep us from paying these elderly the attention and affection they deserve.
- These efforts give us reason to hope that we shall all move with one heart to embrace our physically and mentally challenged brothers and sisters, for these concerns will be the sturdy paving for the road back to a re-awakening Respect for Life.
It is important that everyone have an Advance directive. You can learn more about this issue on our Living Wills page.
Living at Home
Many of our aging parents want to live on their own. According to AARP, more than 95% of seniors want to stay in their home as long as possible, even if they need help with day-to-day activities. After all, home is comfortable and familiar and they are surrounded by memories and circumstances that make them feel safe. If seniors need a little help, there are various options available:
Enlist friends or family. Enlist family or friends to help with tasks your aging parents find challenging. Many religious communities or organizations have volunteers who can help with driving and preparing nutritious meals.
Hire in–home care.
Remote monitoring Remote devices are now available for both emergency situations or to remind your loved ones to take their medication. Web based tools are often available so you can know your parent’s schedules and communicate with any caregivers.
There is no magical age when a senior may need help. There are many 90-year-olds who live at home and need very little help. On the other hand, there are 60 and 70-year olds who find their ability to live independently waning. It’s a hard reality for adult sons and daughters to face: when is it time to become a caregiver yourself, get help in the home, or move your parents to a nursing home or assisted living facility?
Living in a Nursing Home
When the elderly can no longer stay at home and have to go to a nursing home be sure to do your research. The country has a problem! Over 90% of Nursing Homes in the United States have had some kind of violation or confirmed complaint in the last 3 years. Some of these issues are minor and some are life treatening. You can go to Assisted Senior Living to check their watch list for the nursing home you are looking at. According to a 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the nationwide average daily rate for care provided in a private room is $250 and in a semiprivate room is $220, which equals $91,250 and $80,300 per year respectively. For those living in a nursing home long term, they can expect to see nearly a 4% annual increase in the base rate. Medicaid pays for most of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes. A combination of longer life spans and spiraling health care costs has left an estimated 64 percent of the Americans in nursing homes dependent on Medicaid. In Alaska, Mississippi and West Virginia, Medicaid was the primary payer for three-quarters or more of nursing home residents in 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Hospice and Palliative Care
You must generally be considered to be terminal or within six months of death to be eligible for most hospice programs or to receive hospice benefits from your insurance.
There are no time restrictions. Palliative care can be received by patients at any time, at any stage of illness whether it be terminal or not.