Archive for Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Letter to the editor: Facility patients, family members ‘forgotten citizens’

August 26, 2009

To the editor:

Another side to the health care crisis. I am guardian for my mentally disabled brother who lives at the Kansas Neurological Institute in Topeka. Executive Order 09-01 Facilities Closure and Realignment Commission will make recommendations to the state by Dec. 1, 2009. The families/guardians of residents living at KNI or Parsons Training Center are among forgotten Kansas citizens. Through no fault of their own, lives would be changed forever if their “homes” are closed or if they are moved to unqualified places. These two institutions provide safety and caring, experienced staff who understand the needs of developmentally disabled and often physically frail folks. The community home in which they live provides the full range of specially designed services. If moved, it would be a disaster to them and their families, as well as bring up safety issues involving getting the random selection of services, if at all. Our state must address the critical need to provide competitive salaries to those who care for the developmentally disabled population. As important as this issue is, the long waiting lists for other DD folks remain. The stressful disruption to families never ends when there is a DD member; constant help is needed.

We are hard working, tax-paying citizens and only ask for the legitimate rights due our family members; we sincerely thank the state for its help.

Please support our institutions and attend the Sept. 28-29 meeting. See: closure.commission@ks.gov and governor.ks.gov/Resources/facilitiesclosure.htm.

Kittie Umscheid,

Bonner Springs

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