With the strides made, those living with disabilities are living longer. Between 2008 and 2017, the average age at death rose more for adults living with these disabilities (which include intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy) than for adults without IDD, according to the Population Revenue Bureau. Advances in medical technology, improved healthcare access, and greater recognition of the need for supportive services are all factors that have contributed to an increase in life expectancy among individuals with disabilities.
This traditionally underserved and underrepresented group is now surviving longer and needs more resources than ever. The ID/DD community is receiving more attention to their health, and more preventative measures are being taken than in previous decades. Those living in group homes receive regular evaluations by a doctor, which is a beneficial preventative measure.
As more people with disabilities live longer, it becomes increasingly important to have adequate resources to support them.
With medical advances allowing people with disabilities to live longer lives comes an increased need for group housing and community-based services, transportation options, and increased federal and state pay for staff caregivers. These are all vital resources for helping these individuals achieve their full potential.
In the State of New York, individuals with disabilities are on wait lists for places to live in group homes. With the housing crisis over the last couple of years, it’s been almost impossible for agencies to find affordable houses to renovate and transform into community group homes.
As more people live longer, having adequate support in place has become a moral imperative and a necessary step in creating real change toward a world where everyone can reach their fullest potential. It is our responsibility to pay attention to this vital issue and ensure that those living with disabilities have access to the resources they need, not just today but tomorrow as well.
The Need for Adequate Staffing and Funding for New York State Direct Support Professionals
In New York State, the workers who provide critical day-to-day care for people with developmental disabilities are feeling the impacts of funding deficiencies for agency and community-based homes from the state. Low pay, along with the pandemic, has created a staffing crisis for those in disability care resulting in agencies across the state struggling to find enough staff to care for the people they serve. As a result, many agencies have been forced to reduce programs or even shut down.
We urge our state legislators to make wage increases for DSPs to adjust to the cost of living and to support and reimburse the agencies that offer community-based homes, living options, and community programs for those with disabilities. These investments will go a long way toward lifting up DSPs and ensuring that people with developmental disabilities receive the high-quality care they deserve.
Hudson Regional Long-Term Care Pharmacy joins with its agency partners and residents to fight for the rights and the care of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Stay up-to-date on our Advocacy page. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about your long-term care pharmacy services or call us at (845) 341-2714.