Parents Worry About Aging Children with Developmental Disabilities
Across the country, according to U.S. Census figures, 20 percent
of adults below age 65 have developmental or physical disabilities – and almost
70 percent of the families of special needs adults in a recent MetLife survey
said they worried about their offspring's future. The Alta California Regional
Center, which serves 18,250 people with developmental disabilities in 10
counties, has about 5,000 adult clients who still live at home with their
parents, just as Jessica and Lori do. "And every one of those clients will
age," said Phil Bonnet, the regional center's executive director.
"People who grew up in our system are now middle-aged, and their parents
are older." As a result, said the executive director of Sacramento's
Resources for Independent Living, Frances Gracechild: "We have this
phenomenon of aging parents with increasing need for support themselves, and
they're still taking care of their grown developmentally disabled children.
"It's quite a burden to meet when you're facing your 70s." As they
age, the parents of the adult developmentally disabled may need legal
counseling to put together a special-needs trust to care for their offspring,
and they may need advice on residential options, said Fran Smith, a Yolo County
advocate for the developmentally disabled.
Source/more: Sacramento BeeTags: disabilities, independent living, special needs