Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 07 Aug 2016 Kerala: Brain disabl ...

Kerala: Brain disabled to have model lives

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 7, 2016, 6:16 am IST
Updated Aug 7, 2016, 7:28 am IST
This model, developed by a nine-member expert committee, will be drastically different from traditional welfare homes.
Representative image
 Representative image

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a first of its kind for the country, the state government has evolved a model for assisted living units for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. This model, developed by a nine-member expert committee, will be drastically different from traditional welfare homes.

The most distinct feature would be that assisted living units will be situated within the community, unlike traditional homes that are isolated and shut from society. Further, unlike a traditional home where there will be a crowd, each assisted living home will have only 12 people. Decision making – especially the ones related to food, cleanliness, décor and leisure time activities - will be inmate-driven and not top-down as in traditional welfare homes.

 

Each unit can house both men and women, with separate living arrangements and common spaces for eating, socialisation and leisure.“Disability is no more a welfare subject. It is now seen as a development and human rights issue. People with disabilities are seeking more autonomy and control over their lives,” said Poonam Natarajan, the chairperson of National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities who headed the expert committee.

Persons with Disabilities include those who have long term, physical, mental, intellectual and sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis as others. “Each unit will have a unique personality, reflecting the likes and dislikes of the residents. It will have a home like atmosphere, where each resident will contribute, by being responsible for any one task,” Ms Natarajan said. The plan is to set up 500 assisted living units across the state. There will be caregivers at the ratio of 1:4. For every ten units there will be a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and communication therapist.

 

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