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The Pennsylvania House Human Service Committee Hearing on Supporting Families with Family Members with Disabilities Over the Lifespan

The House Human Service Committee will hold a Hearing scheduled for March 21st 10AM to 1:00 PM that will look at the issues surrounding families who have a son or daughter with disabilities who care for them at home throughout their Lifespan. This Hearing requested by the PA Waiting List Campaign, will allow legislators to meet people and hear their real life stories of challenges and success. In Pennsylvania and throughout the country 71 percent of people with disabilities live at home with their families. Nearly 30% of the individuals live at home with a caregiver over the age of sixty. Families with sons and daughters with disabilities embrace the notion of growing old together as a family unit. Families need supports in place to help them all to accomplish their goal of living together. Family supports decrease over time and are often only provided for children. Adult children with disabilities don’t typically move out; they live with their families until the Mom, Dad or family member can no longer care for them. The challenge and crisis that impacts all of us through special times over the lifespan, is magnified for families with a person with disabilities, through systems and rules that change frequently, often resulting in failure, but we have seen success when the right systems are in place. Waiting Lists for 14,000 people with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism are devastating for not only the individual, but also their families. Ongoing and strong supports must be in place to make everyone’s lives successful for this vulnerable population.