There is no escape from the aging process for most of us, and thanks to improvements in technology and medical advancements, the developmentally disabled population is living longer. However, their longevity introduces a fresh set of challenges for individuals, families, and caregivers.
Parents, often the primary caregivers for their adult children, typically wish to care for them in the home, if possible, and depending on the severity of their disability. Unlike the majority of aging adults, individuals with developmental disabilities likely do not have adult children to step into the role of guardian or caregiver when their parents are no longer able to parent, or pass away.
In essence, at a time in life when all of us require more help, their support system is breaking down and leaving them with fewer options. It is highly recommended that all families make arrangements for the care of their children, and those with disabilities require careful planning with distinct strategies.
“Our staff is available to assist families in planning for the future of their loved one, as well as themselves as primary caregivers,” reports Opengate Chief Operating Officer, Randi Rios-Castro. She adds, “We work with individuals and families to reach outcomes which are important to them.”
Along with typical aging challenges, these individuals may face failing health symptoms at a younger age due to decreased mobility, poor health care choices, or consequences of their particular disability. Many general health practitioners are not equipped to address increased needs of a person aging with a disability. Opengate is proud to provide a residence which cares for medically frail individuals with supportive and experienced 24-hour medical care.
Individuals who are now facing old age have experienced a different type of lifestyle than those who are younger and coming into adulthood. Younger adults have experienced more community involvement, inclusion, and better resources than those who may have spent time in institutions. They have had more opportunity to develop social skills, as well as enjoy benefits from a society which is more accepting than in the past.
Opengate provides a place for our seniors to interact, play games, socialize, and listen to the music of their own generation, not isolated, but being together with others who share commonalities. By working with individuals and their families to create personal outcome plans, everyone is on the same page when addressing their needs and goals.
It’s never too early to begin planning for the care of your aging child with developmental disabilities or mental health issues. Planning for long-term care of an aging adult is not only a necessity, but an act of love. By creating a legacy giving and donation plan you are building the foundation for the future care of your loved one.
To make an appointment with an Opengate staff member who can advise about all of the resources available, assist in creation of a personal outcome plan, or legacy giving, please call 914-277-5350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be properly directed.