April 6, 2016

Hi, Susannah! I’ve watched & read each of your “Last of the Institutions” segments. More frequently than not, your subjects are higher functioning, with good communication skills and community homes, not apartments. Not until the last segment did it become obvious that the individuals share their homes. In some cases, because of behavioral issues mentioned, I felt the individuals had one-person homes. I believe the general public would have made the same assumption. I realize there are privacy issues. However, it would give a more accurate picture if sharing their homes was mentioned.

What about the other necessities of life & health needed by our challenged communities? How difficult is it for these individuals to obtain basic medical, dental, psychiatric/psychological/therapeutic services? I know some vendors contract with medical clinics for basic services, but what about the rest? Is the emergency room of local hospitals the answer? Job training leading to positions, health/day programs, recreation and transportation are also parts of the big picture.

I appreciated the segment on low wages. Caregivers should be paid their worth. But with that value comes the need for extensive & continuing training. Please talk about the training that is needed to properly care for many of our DD loved ones.

The people you have chosen are fine examples of what can be done and how it looks when things “go right”. Please remember there are individuals and families that have tried to work through the system and have failed to find the right mix for a community placement. “One size does not fit all” is an appropriate description of the community.

Your community slant is very obvious. I had hoped your approach would have been more balanced.

Terri Anderson