Group homes are not just places to warehouse adults with developmental disabilities who cannot completely care for themselves or be cared for by family or loved ones in their own homes. These are places designed to help these individuals thrive and live their best possible life despite their limitations. Selecting a group home for your loved one is a difficult decision, even under the best of circumstances, but here are a few services that you should look for when selecting a group home:
All adults with developmental disabilities, even high functioning ones, require some supervision and help with tasks. These might be as simple as helping with personal care tasks, or more complex such as scheduling and coordinating transportation for various medical appointments. It is important that the supervisory staff be familiar with, and trained in, caring for individuals with the disabilities that your loved one has.
Adults with disabilities require a lot of specialized durable medical equipment as well as home and vehicle modifications to maintain a high quality of life. These can range from grab bars being installed in bathrooms and bedrooms, to stairlifts, wheelchair ramps, and roll-in shower stalls. There should also be other durable medical equipment such as extra wheelchairs and portable patient lift systems available as backups in case of an emergency or power failure.
Everyone, even adults with severe developmental disabilities, wants to feel included and important in the running and managing the home. Completing even simple chores around the home creates a sense of belonging and self-worth for these individuals, and provides opportunities to learn new life skills. Trained staff will handle most of these for safety reasons, but there are plenty of opportunities for everyone living in the group home to contribute.
Most adults with developmental disabilities take medication to help manage their medical issues, and in some cases the number and frequency of meds can be overwhelming and hard to keep track of. This is a good reason to have trained staff available to help track and monitor the administration of medications throughout the day. Even high functioning adults benefit from having another set of eyes to make sure that they don’t miss a dose or take the wrong medication at the wrong time.
Most adults with developmental disabilities need help learning life skills such as personal care, shopping, selecting nutritious foods, and even learning skills for employment in a suitable workplace. The group home staff should coordinate with the individual’s family, medical, and support professionals to identify and address skills that the individual can handle and provide a plan to help teach these skills, step-by-step.
A group home is not meant to separate adults with developmental disabilities from the rest of the world. Excellent group homes offer services that bring these individuals out into the community and encourage participation within them. Enrichment activities such as job training, art and music therapy, sports, and a variety of other activities should be offered frequently as part of the overall group home services provided. This enhances the quality of life for these individuals, provides them with opportunities to interact with others in their community, and builds life skills for additional independence in the future.
If you operate a group home that deals with disabled individuals, you may be looking for an experienced, reliable supplier of durable medical equipment. Lift and Care Systems has served individuals, hospitals, care facilities, day programs, and group homes in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut since 1993. Call us today for a free consultation at (508) 465-5254 or fill out our online contact form to speak to one of our friendly durable medical equipment specialists today.