In June, the Sibling Leadership Network held its seventh national conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. The SLN is an organization that supports siblings of people with disabilities in advocating for their brothers and sisters with disabilities “across the lifespan” as well as providing information and support.
Last week, the National Council on Disability, or NCD, an independent federal agency, released its second major report on guardianship for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, sometimes shortened to ID/DD. If we could pull an overarching theme from the report’s 100-plus pages, it may be that we need to step back as a country and take a hard look at whether guardianship is automatically the right protective device for a given person with ID/DD.
Just a few decades ago, the care and respect that those with special needs received was far different. As recently as the 1960s, those with differing mental or physical abilities were all but incarcerated in bleak facilities receiving less-than-satisfactory care. Today, while there are still opportunities for improvements, the quality of the life and care has greatly improved.
Researchers in a new study published in JAMA found a startling rise in the number of fatal falls among elderly people, according to The New York Times. We have written in this space about falls, most recently prompted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s fall in her U.S. Supreme Court office.
As people age, the fears may become more and more real. Fears of dying surrounded by strangers in a healthcare facility or being strapped to medical machines that take away dignity and a sense of what makes life meaningful.