Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Adult Day Services - A win-win-win solution

Most people as they age want to remain living in their home even when they need assistance. There are many studies that reveal that older people fear losing their independence and moving to a nursing home more than they fear death. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of a unique service that can allow your family member to be cared for during the day while you work easing the challenges of care.

Adult Day Services provides coordinated, compassionate, and professional care for your family member who can no longer be safe on their own. These services include door to door transportation, social and therapeutic activities, meals, and personal care. Adult Day Services allows spouses, children and other caregivers the ability to both care for their family member and have time to work or complete needed chores without fear. This is a compassionate service which can save people numerous disruptive moves in and out of care facilities or eventual settlement in a nursing home.

Adult Day Services is not only a humane alternative to nursing home care but is also tremendously cost-effective and saves tax payers millions of dollars every year. While nursing homes cost over $200 per day, Adult Day Services costs around $70 per day - nearly 1/3 the cost. Health care reformers should take serious notice of this.

With the continued growth in the baby boomer generation and the natural increase demand for long-term care service, public and political awareness of community-based services such as Adult Day Services will play an important role in ensuring individuals age in place. Our seniors deserve dignity without the fear of a loss of independence or an impending departure to a nursing home.

Adult Day Service is an excellent choice for many families:
• Individuals can age in place – the clear preference for most people
• Caregivers have the best of both worlds – caring for their family member, but retaining their independence
• Taxpayers pay 1/3 the cost of nursing home costs thus saving millions

For more information on Adult Day Services, go to the National Adult Day Services Association Website at For information on Adult Day Services in Oneida County contact Michelle Murphy, Director of Elderly Services at 797-4642.

- Ken M.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Earning a dollar an hour?

Would you work for less than a dollar an hour?

As a recent report from the National Disability Rights Network reports, for 3 out of every 4 individuals with a developmental disability, participation at a “sheltered workshop” is the best option offered for employment.

A dollar an hour?

How is that even legal?

Our current labor laws allows for some exemptions for employers of people with disabilities that can pay as little as 10% of the minimum wage which means that many individuals in our communities are working for less than a dollar an hour. Reports on “sheltered workshops” show that these workers may take home about $175 a month.

Although the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) was intended to provide broad protection against discrimination, individuals with disabilities have continued to be marginalized and be encouraged to participate in these “training programs”. Often taught non-transferrable skills, these dead end jobs provide no opportunity for advancement, interaction with non-disabled age peers or an expectation of self-sufficiency.

The original “sheltered workshops” started in 1840.

When we wore corsets, churned butter, and drove horse and buggies.

When women couldn’t vote.

And when slavery was still legal in many states.

Thankfully in so many other ways, humanity has grown to understand that all people have value and have something to offer to the world. It’s pretty simple – segregation and exploitation cannot and should not be justified.

And a dollar an hour for work is not acceptable.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Help knock down the barriers of misconception and misinformation

"Disabled worker" really sounds like a contradictory term. Yet at many companies (including RCIL), we have colleagues with some type of disability. They are very productive in roles from administrative assistant to directing programs.

There are 13.5 million1 Americans who currently receive either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments with much potential that is being stymied by misconceptions and misinformation. A sobering fact is that about one in three persons who are disabled lives below the poverty level.

Can we still be the "land of opportunity" for all?

The recent economic environment has made it difficult for anyone to obtain a job. However, as our businesses begin again to hire, persons with disabilities who have the will should be able to pursue their life’s goals.

Prospective workers should be aware there are actually many tax advantages that employers can obtain by hiring persons with disabilities. These include the Disability Access Credit, Barrier Removal Tax Deduction, and the Work Opportunity Credit.

Persons who return to work can continue to receive much of their benefits under what are known as work incentives. The Social Security Administration is under pressure from Congress to improve the rate of those who progress from the disability roles to self sufficiency through employment. As a result new incentives are being made available. We will bring these to you in future posts.

RCIL, like other Independent Living Centers across the country, runs programs named Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) and Ticket to Work. They can provide a range of supports from information about how monthly benefits would or would not be affected, to job coaching. You may also contact The Social Security Administration at 1 (800) 772-1213 or search

So follow us.

Be in the know.

And help others be in the know.

- Dave L.