Mentally disabled centers are vital

In January, the state of Pennsylvania announced the closing of Hamburg State Center.

This is one of the five remaining state centers for the intellectually disabled.

This is done to save money. They will move the residents into homes in the community or the house next door.

Centers for the mentally challenged now house the profoundly mentally disabled.

Those living in the centers have complex physical issues and behavioral problems, so the centers are less restrictive, more hospitable, better equipped and better staffed to satisfy their needs.

This is better than putting them in the house next door.

The centers are a success story of the best way of taking care of the profoundly mentally disabled — 24-hour care with doctors and nurses on call.

The centers offer education, according to their mental age, work if they can do it, room and board, activities, dentist, physical therapist, CANs, RNs, speech therapist, church etc.

The centers provide activities as simple as a bus ride to get ice cream cones, or spending the night camping at a scout camp, pizza parties, movies, train rides, shopping trips etc.

You can visit your child any time, or bring them home for Christmas, Thanksgiving or during the summer.

Please write to the governor, your senator and your representative to keep the centers open for the profoundly mentally disabled.

Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, intends to introduce legislation that will require Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services to prepare and execute a plan to close all remaining state institutions for intellectual disability by 2023.

Minerva Gordon

Martinsburg

Secretary of ACE

Parents of the Residents

Ebensburg Center

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