State should keep care centers open

State should keep

care centers open

This is in response to the Mirror story last week, “State to close two care centers.”

Right now we as taxpayers are doing the right thing for the care of the most fragile of our citizens — the profoundly mentally disabled.

The main reason why it is so expensive is because admissions are closed by the state government, and only a judge order can get them admitted to one of the centers. In other words, Gov. Tom Wolf and the DHS Secretary Teresa Miller rather have more mentally disabled and autistic citizens on their waiting list, than find places for the 13,000 already on their waiting list.

In the article, Miller said; “Having an intellectual disability does not mean a person is incapable of making decisions, contributing to their community or exploring lifelong learning opportunities. Community-based settings honor the inherent value of every person and empower individuals to choose the direction of their own lives.”

Here’s my story: My son is 65 years old, strong, tall but a mental age of 18 months. He does what a toddler does, no fear of going on the road, or jumping out of a second-story window. For him, it would be like, “there is a dog down there, I am going to jump out and play with the dog.” Or he could walk out of the house and walk into a home to try to get into their refrigerator to get something to eat.

So, in the paragraph above they want my son to make decisions, exploring lifelong learning opportunities. What planet are they coming from?

We, as parents, after looking at all the options, decided what is best for our profoundly mentally disabled son, and the centers are it, and they work.

Please tell Wolf and Miller that we need the centers for citizens who are profoundly mentally disabled or autistic who could use 24/7 care with doctors, nurses on call, education according to their mental age, work if possible, room and board, activities, dentist, optometrist, physical therapist, CAN, RNs, practical nurses, speech therapist, church, sensory rooms, activities as simple as a ride for ice cream, spending time at a Girl Scout camp, having pizza parties, movies in Johnstown, shopping trips, etc.

The families want to be able to visit their child whenever they want and bring them home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and vacation with you.

With the centers, we have done something right. Let’s not lose them.

Minerva Gordon