Future Unclear For State Institution ...

Future Unclear For State Institution For Developmentally Disable

There are 27 comments on the Oklahoma Impact Team story from Oct 4, 2010, titled Future Unclear For State Institution For Developmentally Disable. In it, Oklahoma Impact Team reports that:

The Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley could close, sending its 135 residents into the community to live with their families, on their own with caregivers or in group homes.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Oklahoma Impact Team.

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Complex Issue

Pauls Valley, OK

#22 Oct 9, 2010
Oklahoma has these individuals and their families "between a rock and a hard place." As of now there are only a handful of slots available for the medically fragile in ICF-MR (nursing homes for people with disabilities). The money needs to be freed up to build more places in the community. Closing SORC is an extremely complicated situation. For it to close resources have to built in the community to accommodate people. Like Tulsa Mom stated community services are not where they need to be yet.

To Steve P. and those who think the parents should foot this bill I only hope your son or daughter is not in an accident that renders them disabled. It can happen at any moment, and your outlook may be different. This issue is complex and cannot be put in a box of "taxpayers shouldn't pay." Legally parents are not responsible for their children after they turn 18 (financially or morally). People here are referring to the SORC residents as kids. They are not children. They are adults who deserve a quality of life just as we do. The adult children of our indigent elderly are not required to pay for their parents nursing homes or hospital care. Same goes for our mentally ill. This is no different. I do agree that if a any child goes into foster care or institutional care parents should pay child support until age 18. The people residing at SORC are not children.
Disturbed in Tulsa

United States

#23 Oct 11, 2010
Steve_P wrote:
No offense but why should Oklahoma taxpayers pay to care for someone's family? No matter how bad their developmental disabilities are the family should take care of their family member. I would have no problem with tax breaks or assistance to help in the care but nearly $200,000 per person is a lot, plus making others have to wait just doesn't seem right.
Good point Steve P, why should we pay to assist vulnerable adults that cannot provide for themselves due to a cognitive impairment. But why stop with them? Should we not also stop providing care for the elderly in nursing homes at the expense of the taxpayers too? Maybe cut Medicaid spending for pregnant mothers and children too? We should just give them tax cuts and tell them to take care of themselves too, right? Our society is judged by how we treat our most vulnerable members of society.
guest

Pauls Valley, OK

#24 Oct 14, 2010
believe you me if your not paying for your nursing home you'll be shipped out or suddenly dying and why is it some elderly are expected to get by on less than ten thousand a year but it costs $200.000 for the challenged? Something don't add up as usual! The only reason people work there is because they know they have the gravy train salary!
AKV

Tulsa, OK

#25 Oct 15, 2010
I just want to say that every dime that is spent to help a disabled adult is worth the money. I work for an agency that cares for individuals like this. To be able to see the smile on thier faces and how proud they are to live in thier own home and have thier own things is great. Many of the people that I care for have tax paying jobs they go shopping go to movies and do numerous other things that make them part of the community not like someone sitting at home having kids they cant afford and drawing welfare. The people i serve actaully love to go to work and many of them also volunteer in the community. Before you go throwing stones at how your taxes money is being wasted on someone that doesn't contribute to the community maybe you should go visit a state school or a group home just so you can see what you would be cutting out of these people lifes. Besides the effect on the disabled think of all the people that work with them who are tax payers also if they did have the funding we would be out of jobs and therefore living off unemmployment or welfare until another job could be found. I feel that it is very dishearting to think that people could believe that having some of thier tax dollars go to help care for disabled adult is worng many family members are getting older or dying where would that leave thier disabled child. You should really look in to something before you critize. Also the no child left behind act is great it actaully helped one of my cousin be able to graduate form school and even go on to college.
ForAshley

Hamilton, TX

#26 Oct 26, 2010
Having all the posts that are actually talking about the issue at hand, it is clear that there are some assumptions about the people affected by the decisions at hand. First of all, just because someone has a disability, it does not mean that they are perpetual children. The residents at SORC are all legal adults, many of whom have lived past their parents and several of whom have lived longer than their entire familes. When my daugher reached the age of 19, I got to pay lawyers a lot of money to go before the court and ask permission of the governmentto be her guardian and be responsible for her. Otherwise, she could not be treated in hospitals, etc.

And I will continue to stress that the word "disabled" is a very broad term that describes a wide range of capabilities and needs, so a one size fits all approach is simply realistic.

As for those whom glibly assume that families should continue to pay for the costs of their children, then how long? How long do you want to be responsible for your children's debts? What relations? Should you pay your brothers' and sisters' bills? Why not your cousins? Or should we take the Christmas time advice of your hero, and "let them die and decrease the surplus population?"

And just for the record, I have carried health insurance on my daughter since she was born, because my employer's plan allows that my child with disabilities be covered as long as she is disabled, so believe me, I will scrub toilets if I have to in order for her to be covered. So yes, I do contribute.

And who is my neighbor?
tired of it

Macomb, OK

#27 Oct 27, 2010
"the price tag is $191,625 federal and state dollars a year per resident."
What in the heck costs so much?
Have to admit that I have everything payed for.
So electric,phone,food,property tax,car tags,gas and insurance comes to about $6,000 a year total.
Pay two people $30,000.yr to watch them.
That's $60,000.
$600. per month for room.
That's $7,200.
Give the person $1,000 per month for food and personal needs.
That's $12,000.
That's a total of $79,200.
Where's the other $122,000. going to?
Someone needs to check the books.
Complex Issue

Pauls Valley, OK

#28 Oct 31, 2010
tired of it wrote:
"the price tag is $191,625 federal and state dollars a year per resident."
What in the heck costs so much?
Have to admit that I have everything payed for.
So electric,phone,food,property tax,car tags,gas and insurance comes to about $6,000 a year total.
Pay two people $30,000.yr to watch them.
That's $60,000.
$600. per month for room.
That's $7,200.
Give the person $1,000 per month for food and personal needs.
That's $12,000.
That's a total of $79,200.
Where's the other $122,000. going to?
Someone needs to check the books.
It is not being embezzled or wasted just appropriated differently than most people know about.

When looking at SORC you have to add in all the employees from nurses, janitors, laundry, speech, clerical, OT, PT, administrative, staff training... etc etc. Also Oklahoma state employees all get benefits such as: retirement, health care, longevity pay, paid sick and vacation days probably adding in a minimum estimate of $10-15,000 a year to each salary.

That is why the cost is so much for institutional care.

Community placement is much cheaper. It also allows for the clients to get much more individualized care. They still get all the above services but on contract or through an agency. The financial reimbursement rate from state/federal as well as the clients personal accounts are a totally different set-up than they have at SORC.

Most clients who are in the community go to a job or vocational placement that pays them and they in turn pay taxes like the rest of us. They pay rent and utilities with that and their SSI/SSA checks. The misconception is they all are in group homes. The majority are not. Instead they usually live 2-4 people in a regular home just as any roommate would but, with 24/7 support staff.

The taxpayers pay for the staff, medical, medicine, therapies etc. Not for a staff of 20 at the institution. It costs anywhere from one-third to one-fourth for clients to get the same services in the community not to mention more individualized care and they have much more independence and pride in themselves.

Honestly, Oklahoma has not done well in explaining the dynamics of the community based programs to the public. Most SORC employees don't know how it works.

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