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Jeff Brody
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Cerebral Palsy Residential Homes

The majority of cerebral palsy patients will run into residence and healthcare issues at some point in their lifetime, whether during their youth or in their adult years. A large number of cerebral palsy patients are placed in hospitals as children because their families lacked the resources to support them. Some have been stuck in these hospitals for longer than they feel necessary. As a patient becomes older, the need for a residence outside the hospital becomes more and more important. The need for an increase of cerebral palsy residential homes is unmistakable, and past due.

Cerebral palsy residential homes are residences for aged and disabled adults who may require 24-hour supervision and assistance with personal care needs. People in residential adult care homes typically need a place to live, help with personal care such as dressing, grooming, and keeping up with medications, and some limited supervision. These cerebral palsy residential homes vary in size from family care homes of two to six residents to adult care homes of more than 100 residents Medical care may be provided on occasion but is not routinely needed.

Advocates for the mentally and physically disabled are determined to set an example to show how people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities should be moved out of big, state-run nursing homes and into cerebral palsy residential homes. The process takes intensive planning to determine where and under what setting the patient will live. Each individual patient would have a detailed plan developed exclusively for them, based on their needs and condition. The major concern is to have a comprehensive planning process to make certain patients are not moved from one inappropriate nursing facility setting to another.

The argument against cerebral palsy residential homes stems mainly from the states funding the moves. States argue that because of limited funds they cannot afford to move a lot of people into residential homes, besides the fact that there are limited spaces in these type settings compared to the number of patients who want them. Some parents are against the wishes of these patients as well. There are often cases where the family doesnít want to move their child to a cerebral palsy residential home because they want a facility that offers around-the-clock care.

The state run programs tends to be more expensive than residential homes by quite a bit. In 2004, the state of Georgia estimated an average of $229 a day to care for one patient at a state hospital, the equivalent of $83,585 a year. A private nursing home costs $130 a day, or $47,450 a year. A residential home averages only around $82 a day, or $29,930 for a year of care. The main difference in cost is that big state institutions are paying for 24-hour clinical staff and building maintenance, while a majority of the patients donít really need extended care.

Advocates say there may be thousands of cerebral palsy patients across the country kept in institutions even though they want to leave and have been recommended for a Medicaid-funded slot to receive services outside the hospital walls. Federal law says that states must work to move patients out of big institutions. Under a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision, these patients have a legal right to obtain state and federally funded disabilities services outside the hospital walls.

Cerebral palsy residential homes must become more of a reality for the thousands of cerebral palsy patients stuck in state institutions. Bureaucratic sluggishness is causing many of these patients to be stuck in a situation in which there is no room for personal growth. Cerebral palsy residential homes can help everyone by saving taxpayerís money and providing a sense of independence to a patient that deserves it.

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