When we think of residential services, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a group home or sponsored residential services sponsored residential services. However, not everyone is interested in out of home placement and not every parent wants to become a paid caregiver paid caregiver. Some families are perfectly fine with their disabled loved one living at home with some basic supports. In other situations, the individual is able to live independently with some assistance. In these cases community-based residential services are implemented to ensure that individuals with disabilities get the support they need to be safe and healthy as well as maintain their independence.
There are some distinct advantages to staying at home or independently with in-home supports.
1. More Freedom- Living at home or independently is one of the least restrictive options available. The primary goal in most states is to provide support in an environment that is as close to the rest of the population as possible. Clients living independently or home are not bound by the schedules of other people as they would be in a group home. Staffing issues in group homes can also limit the ability to go out or participate in community activities when desired.
2. Privacy- Living independently offers more privacy. Residents in group homes often share bathrooms and some even share bedrooms. Of course this also occurs at home but at least its family and a more comfortable environment. Group home residents share pretty much everything with strangers and staff that can change daily. Living in a group home also restricts opportunities for privacy with significant others and friends.
3. Less Conflict- This is a simple concept. Living with fewer people reduces the amount of conflict. Living alone can be a good option for those who prefer complete independence with only minimum or no supports.
4. Healthier Environment- Clients who live at home or independently tend to live in a healthier environment. Living with other people often increases the likelihood of getting sick from other residents. Sharing bathrooms and living in close quarters with others usually leads to rapid spreading of viruses and other illnesses.
Personal Assistance is often provided to individuals with Medicaid Waiver funding in place. Personal assistance offers support with daily activities such as bathing, getting dressed, and personal care. This service can be put in place to help families keep their loved ones at home and relieve the family some of the workload.
In-home support services are almost self- explanatory. In-home services are often provided to individuals who live at home with family or on their own. In-home support staff typically serves adults with mental health and/or intellectual disabilities. The staff can help the client develop independent living skills and community integration. They can help with some training such as cooking, shopping and money management. These services are also funded through Medicaid Waiver.
Support Living Services
Supportive living services are primarily designed to support people who live in their own apartment or other independent living arrangement. They typically provide assistance with accessing community resources such as grocery shopping, going to the bank, paying bills, and learning other independent living skills.
Mental Health Support Services
Mental health support staff help ensure that the client is taking medications as prescribed as well as attending counseling and medication management appointments. They also assist with the basics like shopping, budgeting, and maintain their housing. Mental health supports are different from the previous services in that the individual being served must have a mental health diagnosis and have a history of psychiatric hospitalization. Mental health supports are put in place to help individuals maintain in the community and prevent relapse and hospitalization.