SLS Means Much More than Just Empowerment
As people with intellectual disabilities increasingly insist on having more control over their lives, pressure is growing for services to be more responsive to the aspirations and wishes of the intellectually disabled and their families.
DEC has long enjoyed a widespread reputation for providing high quality Supportive Living Services to individuals with intellectual challenges, enabling them to exercise meaningful control in their daily lives — including where and with whom to live. No two people’s lives are the same. It is only natural and correct, therefore, that no two people’s services be the same, either. By focusing on one person at a time, as well as involving each individual’s family and friends in the planning process, our highly qualified SLS Professionals provide progressive services that nurture talents and skills.
DEC assists those who can select and move into a home or apartment, acquire household furnishings, manage personal financial affairs, deal responsibly with daily living activities and emergencies, and be productive, participating members of their community. With increasing frequency, we also provide a high level of assistance with medical appointments; management of medications; and explaining medical treatment and terminology to the individuals in our program.
SUPPORTING THE NEEDS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL
Most — but certainly not all — of the men and women who receive Supportive Living Services from DEC are capable of being independent at home and out in the community, yet need some level of self-help improvements and domestic, adaptive and socialization supports. These generally include: accompanying individuals to and from doctor appointments: grocery shopping, budgeting and money management; social interaction and help with daily living skills – including hygiene and personal grooming; housekeeping and meal preparation; hobbies and exercise; recreational and leisure activities; educational development; and safety assistance/survival skills.
Our staff is passionate about maintaining a real sense of flexibility so that they meet each person’s changing needs over time. Typically, DEC professionals work with each individual to establish and promote a safe, stable and independent life in his or her own environment. For some developmentally disabled adults it is possible to supervise their services themselves to secure the maximum possible level of personal independence.
DEC is equally committed to serving a population of developmentally disabled individuals who, because the level of their challenges prevent them from ever acquiring the necessary skill sets, are unable to live independently and therefore must remain at home. These
men and women are taken by SLS staff to appropriate community events and centers of socialization and recreation where they may participate in therapeutic swimming, physical fitness programs and a wide range of social activities.
Families of those who cannot enjoy an independent lifestyle are at increased risk of depression and other health problems as a result of the stress of being a caregiver. Supportive Living Services not only provides enormous benefits to home-bound individuals, it also offers parents some welcomed relief from the burden of caregiving.
A Quality Home Environment
Because each individual responds differently, DEC’s Supportive Living Services are offered for as long and as often as the need warrants. While the number of individuals who live with their parents is increasing, the majority of men and women in the SLS program live in their own homes, apartments and boarding homes.
DEC is under contract both with the Montgomery County Behavioral Health/ Developmental Disabilities Department and the Office of Developmental Programs and consistently meets stringent contractual conditions. Staffing hours generally range between one and 17 hours a week per person; however, in some cases, the level of support may be greater.
DEC’s professional staff keeps a keen eye on health concerns, monitors medications and tracks medical appointments to ensure they are made in a timely manner. A highly qualified program worker, under the close supervision of DEC’s Director of Community Services, personalizes and fully implements an annual plan for each individual, and assesses individual needs with the participation of an outstanding interdisciplinary team.
The progress of each individual’s goals are rigorously documented and analyzed.