Friday, December 3, 2010

International Day of People with Disabilities - Bah Humbug!

Today (to look at more than just Bil for a change of pace) is the International Day of People with Disabilities.

Well, it's great talking about it but it has to be mor than just talk.  It seems too many times these "Days" are the "same old same old".

My mother in law is in her 80's and caring for a son with a disability, autism.  She is far from the only one.  I have heard anecdotally about parents in their 90's trying to care for children, with little help from the agencies (government or other)that supposedly exist to help them.  There's a lot of lip service but a lot of very needy parents.  The older they get, the heavier that advocacy burden becomes.  Having trouble doing it now when you are 30?  Wait until you are 82!

My mother in law is lucky in a way. She has three other grown children, and they are all involved.  (Our frustrations over trying to help, and take aspects of Bil's care over are besides the point for the purposes of this discussion.) And, she's made her own decision to keep up this burden.  But there are many parents out there that could not put down that burden even if they wanted to.

Even in our case...two of the three siblings of Bil are older than he is.  One is married to a woman with health problems, a woman who received a layoff notice right before Thanksgiving.  (Happy Thanksgiving!) With increasing life expectancy of people with disabilities, what happens when they outlive both their parents and perhaps their brothers and sisters?

I don't want National or International Days of Hot Air.

Our disabled community deserves something more than Hot Air!

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