The Coronavirus has dominated the news in recent weeks. We wish all of our members and their loved ones the best of health, and urge you to consider the effects this virus may have on long term services and supports, residential facilities, at-home care, day care, and vocational centers.
Several articles have appeared in the news recently that bear on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, medically fragile individuals, and other persons in long-term care.
VOR has sent a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, supporting the residents and famiiies of the Polk and White Haven Developmental Centers.
The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is a seriously flawed bill. While the intention of the bill is to provide services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it would eliminate existing services provided to the most severely impacted members of this population, and moving these individuals from their long-term homes into more isolated settings that provide fewer services, lower staffing ratios, and lower standards of care.
VOR supports a well-trained, well-paid workforce of healthcare professionals to care for our loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). A fully coordinated nationwide program for background checks for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) would be essential to protecting individuals with I/DD while improving the quality and integrity of long-term caregivers.
This report, released in January, 2018 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,' Office of the Inspector General, Administraton for Community Liiving, and Office of Civil Rights acknowledged the systemic shortcomings in protecting residents of HCBS waiver group homes from incidents of abuse and neglect. OIG found that up to 99 percent of these critical incidents were not reported to the appropriate law enforcement or state agencies as required. The report stated, “Group Home beneficiaries are at risk of serious harm. OIG found that health and safety policies and procedures were not being followed. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures left group home beneficiaries at risk of serious harm. These are not isolated incidents but a systemic problem – 49 States had media reports of health and safety problems in group homes.”