Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disability and Government Budgets

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article how the high costs of caring for the seriously disabled are clashing with the budget crises of most states and the Federal Government. The Journal notes that it is easier to cut money that have been budgeted for home care than to cut money budgeted for institutional care. The WSJ does not take sides in the debate but concludes that it is much more expensive to care for the disabled at home than it is to place them in an institution.

Some of the comments by readers disagreed with the WSJ on that point,arguing that many people receive care from each employee and only one receives care per employee at home. That needs to be examined very closely by people who understand these issues well.

We at Sweeten Life Systems are completing the first year of a research study on how to best support families with severely disabled children. The results have been very insightful and somewhat surprising to us. Many of the most pressing issues focus on the needs of parents to receive very practical support. Things like:

House work
Lawn care
Transport to the Doctor, grocery shopping, etc.
Food preparation
Respite care
Spiritual support

Now we need to find churches, schools and individuals willing to volunteer to help these families with those practical and important areas. Are you willing to help? Does your church already have a program of support for shut ins, the elderly, etc?

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