I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
Think back for a minute and remember your high school graduation. Most every student looked to the future with big eyes, they were going to concur the world. You were leaving the comforts of home and in some cases those long friendships. Some were going to college, others the military, still others direct to the job market. But, in most cases it was your choice.
Now try and imagine not having something to do after high school. You only have 2 options, live at home with family or go into a nursing home environment (which could be at tax payer expense). For years, these were the only 2 options for individuals with disabilities.
You lose contact with every single person who went to school with you on a daily basis for 12 years. While most students were often cordial to you, you were not invited to birthday parties, you were not included in the homecoming or prom activities, you were not included in student government. You were thought of as different. All to often, the smallest of social interaction meant so much to your self-esteem. Now, all of this social interaction is now gone.
If there is a freeze on Family Care and related program, the imagine part can become reality for individuals with disabilities.
If there is a freeze to these programs, a home with both parents working, may now require one parent to stay home because it would not be safe to leave the individual home alone. Not only will there be lost wages in the household, but there will now be a limited amount of discretionary income. There will be no more vactions, no more consumer spending except on the items necessary to sustain ones life. A family on one income may not be able to afford a day program for their loved one. If gas prices remain high, there willbe even more time spent in the house in front of a television. This could lead to health problems due to the lack of activity in ones life.
The only social interaction will be with the daily care giver. There will be a loss of social skills. There will be limited opportunities to make new friends if there is a cap placed on the programs.
Family Care allows individuals with disabilities opportunities to learn a trade, just have a job and most important, meet new people, create a new circle of friends. By giving an individual some self esteem, they become a contributing member of our local communities.
Please call your State Legislator and tell them that we need to lift the caps on Family Care