Where Will Vulnerable Alabamians Live?

According to the Alabama Department of Human Resources, more than 600 people are placed in settings other than their own homes due to a high risk of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The organization says more people are needed to care for these elderly and disabled adults.

DHR reports that there are only 21 adult foster homes in Alabama’s 67 counties, and their objective is to have at least one adult foster home in each county, which is more than triple what they now have.

The state wants to see older adults and those with disabilities live in safer and less restrictive settings. Disabled people are entitled to do so.

In June 1999, the Supreme Court handed down the historic Olmstead v. L.C. decision, which required all states to end the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities and ensure that they receive services in the most integrated environment possible.

Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, disabled women living in Georgia nursing homes, were involved in this case. Curtis and Wilson requested that state officials allow them to live in the community in their own homes.

Alabama’s Alabama Department of Human Resources says that getting your home certified as foster care is an excellent way to help. In fiscal year 2022, the Alabama Department of Human Resources received 12,033 allegations of elderly abuse and neglect. Alabama DHR officials feel those figures are rising but may be reduced.

This program is designed for adults who can live safely at home but require assistance or supervision with everyday activities. Most have been victimized in the past by family members or caretakers.

According to the US Census Bureau, about 18% of Alabamians are 65 or older. The population of older adults has grown in recent years, coupled with an increase in allegations of adult neglect, exploitation, and abuse.

The participation of individuals with disabilities in community settings has significantly improved in recent years. Where someone lives shouldn’t determine when people get help or how much help they receive. Disabled people, regardless of their age, have the right to live in their communities. It makes no difference whether a person is a child or an adult.

Sources:

Harksen, Lauren. “Alabama DHR Needing More Foster Homes for Disabled, Elderly Adults.” WBRC, 15 June 2023, http://www.wbrc.com/2023/06/15/alabama-dhr-needing-more-foster-homes-disabled-elderly-adults/.

Holmes, Chase. “Alabama DHR Seeking Foster Homes for Elderly, Disabled Adults.” The Trussville Tribune, 15 June 2023, http://www.trussvilletribune.com/2023/06/15/alabama-dhr-seeking-foster-homes-for-elderly-disabled-adults/.

“How Two Women Changed Thousands of Lives.” Disability Rights Texas, 17 June 2019, http://www.disabilityrightstx.org/en/2019/06/17/olmstead20th/.

Poitevint, Bobby. “Demand for Adult Foster Homes Growing in Alabama.” WBMA, 14 June 2023, abc3340.com/news/local/demand-for-adult-foster-homes-grow-in-alabama-dhr-disabilities-elderly-bobby-poitevint-abuse-mistreatment.

Shapiro, Joseph. “Lois Curtis, Who Won a Landmark Civil Rights Case for People with Disabilities, Died.” NPR, 5 Nov. 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/11/05/1134426128/lois-curtis-who-won-a-landmark-civil-rights-case-for-people-with-disabilities-di.

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