Sunday, April 30, 2006

Find the Cost of Freedom...

After reading Gettingthetruthout.org, it woke up the part of me that has always fought for the underdog. My father was a very big, strong man who, after working 14-16 hour days sometimes let the stress of work get to him. My mom understood, but I never did as a kid. When he would start yelling, I'd get in his face. I was fearless. But he was picking on "my mama"!

Now, as an adult, I understand that no one can bottle up everything...The more stress we are under at work, the more it "leaks" out into our personal lives.

But standing up to that giant of a man gave me courage. And the fact that the giant of a man didn't knock me on my butt is something that gives me more respect for him.
Neither of my parents were from the "I'll beat it out of you" school, thank God!

So here I am with all this underdog courage. Man-a-live...I know of NO ONE more beaten down than members of society who have little or no voice in the direction of their daily lives.

So I am just looking into the possibility of "room and boarding" a few people with autism. Mostly, I am thinking of a middle-aged man who used to go to the YMCA where he and I took water-exercises along with a neighbor of mine who had broken her hip. He used to confide in me, which astounded the old ladies who couldn't get anything out of him.

We'd have to move out of our 2 bedroom apartment, of course.

There is a governmental program, that, because of the Olmstead decision...Looks to end institutionalization of the handicapped. From least to most restrictive,a sliding scale is given to the caregiver who whose business is anywhere from 1 to 8 individuals...Whose needs are mild to moderate in scope. These "businesspeople" are remunerated from $27,000 to $83,000 a year, PER PERSON. I imagine at the higher scale there are many more medical needs and a larger amount of "consumers" in a facility that is still deemed least restrictive. And it isn't just room, board, and food; there are other responsibilities involved.

Of course, the governmental programs for the handicapped have their noses deeply involved in the control of the daily lives of these people,even though it is considered "person-centered". I suppose as long as the person wants everything the government wants to "give" them..........

The red tape is ridiculous, and after copying about 200 pages of rules, regulations, etc., etc.... I came across what amounted to a line or a paragraph, I really don't remember. And it said that a "consumer" only wanting room/board, that is, a "consumer" who wanted total control over their own life would have to come up with the money solely from their Social Security check.

You can bet your bottom dollar there aren't too many people rushing out there to arrange a business that is talking only a couple hundred dollars a month.

It's like a catch-22.

We give you money, we control your lives. Big Brother will take care of you, whether you like it or not. Lots and lots of cash for your care-givers.

But if you want the freedom to choose your own life...

4 comments:

Oberon said...

......what is the most important thing?

r.b. said...

What comes to mind is, a soft place to land...

Bronwyn G said...

I hope you are able to structure developmental care for autistic people, as this is the thing they want most when they go into a room and board-type structure.

So says Heather Tregale, an autism advocate, anyway, when she was looking for a similar placement for her son some years ago.

r.b. said...

bronwyn, I'm not so sure structure is key...

Initially, my son's life was highly structured. Now, I give him the freedom to learn on his own. He seems to be much happier, and in control of his life.

Myself, I couldn't have stood a structured life. I am too damn independent.

Why wouldn't I want to give that same choice to others, regardless of what others want for them?

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