think about it
Your cart is empty
Visit The Shop

the stockton centre saga: closing time for disability institutions

586px-Fotothek_df_ps_0002996_Stadt_^_Stadtlandschaften_^_Wohnhäuser

You’ve probably heard of the large-scale movement to close institutions during the 1970s-80s. When we talk about institutions, icy cold baths, electric shock therapy, straight jackets and lobotomies probably spring to mind. It’s no wonder; institutions have quite an unsavoury history and it is commonly believed that institutions and the inhumane practices contained within are just that; history. However, decades later there remain more than 50 large institutions officially recorded in Australia, accommodating around 2500 people with disabilities. There are also many more who live in places like nursing homes and smaller facilities.

The conditions and practices within these facilities have generally improved dramatically. But in many ways institutions remain the same old service driven settings that they were in the mid 20th century. Violence within these settings persists as a major contemporary concern. Institutions fundamentally remain a place for people with disabilities ‘to go’ because supports and acceptance are sorely lacking in the general community.

At the moment, all eyes are on the notorious Stockton Centre in NSW, which accommodates around 400 people with disabilities. The Government is closing the centre and a number of others like it in NSW by 2018. The decision came with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS); the biggest reform to the disability support system in a life time. As well as billions of extra dollars going into disability supports, the funding structure has been turned on its head.  The Government becomes the facilitator of disability supports, while non-profits and private businesses expand their existing role as support providers. People with significant disabilities access individual funding packages to purchase the supports they choose from the providers they choose. No need for a place ‘to go’ anymore, because supports will be attached to people with disabilities wherever they live.

Should this come as welcome news? A great deal of controversy has emerged, with two sharply opposing sides of the public debate.

On one side we have Disabled People’s Organisations and disability advocates celebrating the closure. President of People with Disabilities Australia, Craig Wallace, describes some of the flaws in institutional living: ‘[o]ne of the many issues with centres like Stockton is that housing supports were wrapped up in disability supports, so people were trapped in this model and can’t escape. They have to stay in the old model to get any support.’

Members of the Community Disability Alliance Hunter wrote that it is a fundamental human right to live in the community. They explain ‘institutional care does not meet contemporary standards… research indicates that when people with disability leave institutions and live in the community they experience improvements in health, social participation and well-being.’

On the other side we have a proportion of the families of Stockton Centre residents and the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association fiercely protesting the closure. They are not convinced that community based alternatives will meet contemporary standards any better than an institution. They refer to the extensive facilities at the Centre, including onsite nursing care, GPs, dentists, a gym, a swimming pool and sports oval. They worry that some people are “too disabled” to live in the community and that the accountability and quality assurances of non-government providers are inadequate.

So, if the Stockton Centre residents had choice, what would their decisions be? Where are their voices in all of this? I sifted through news article after news article and eventually found one small glimpse of an insider’s opinion in the Newcastle Herald:

‘David was adamant he wanted to move away from Stockton.’

‘But [his mother] says experience tells her that a large, protected space like Stockton is the very best of addresses for her son. “Turn your back on him for five minutes and he will have got himself onto a bus somewhere, and talked the driver into taking him even without the money for the fare,” she said.’

Just like that, David’s views were dismissed, pushed back under the hoards of voices seen as more valuable, more legitimate. Here you go David, have some space to share your perspective. After all, the closure of the Stockton Centre affects you and your co-residents most.

The unfortunate truth is that people with disabilities, their support people, friends and families, and the community at large are taught that people with disabilities are not able or welcome to live in the general community, or indeed to enjoy the freedom of catching buses around town. The lack of media coverage of the views of Stockton Centre residents teaches us that their opinions about their very own lives aren’t even welcome. We are taught that if people with disabilities do live in the community they are shunned, denied essential supports, live in poverty, and perhaps wind up in the criminal justice system; prison the place for them ‘to go’ in the absence of institutions.

The problem is not that some people with disabilities are ‘too disabled’. The problem is the negative community attitudes and practices that keep people with disabilities in institutions and out on the fringes. The good news is we can change our attitudes and practices. Just as women shouldn’t have to lock themselves at home to stay ‘safe’ from violence, people with disabilities shouldn’t be locked away in institutions to keep ‘safe’ from an unfair society. Society should become a safe place for everyone.

Institutions are a place for people with disabilities ‘to go’ because there has been nowhere else with adequate supports available. In the 21st century we are well over due for a time when people with disabilities choose where they live on an equal basis with people without disabilities. The NDIS provides the framework to achieve this; we just need to see a change in our community attitudes to go with it.  Unless a significant number of Stockton Centre residents expressly want the Centre to stay open so that they can remain living there, knowing fully the alternatives available to them, then it is very much closing time.

13 thoughts on “the stockton centre saga: closing time for disability institutions

  1. I don’t want to express an opinion either way on this (I’m a local), but an issue I see with the clients (I say clients because that’s what a lot of the staff refer to them as) is that many of them can’t express an opinion. My mother nursed there for about 20 years and every week she’d come with stories of clients who lost their tempers and threw chairs, food, punches – in fact, a client broke her jaw in the early 90s. For every client she spoke fondly of, there were another two that were too volatile to take out into the community or couldn’t be trusted to stay away from roads.

    There are definitely some who would probably thrive out of the centre, but there are also some who can’t be trusted by themselves, or are so severely disabled they need 24 hour care. If these people can be moved to places where that is available, that’s great. If they can’t, well…

  2. It’s strange that the word ‘institution’ is attached to Stockton Centre for it only houses those with a common attribute – a disability. The definition of the word ‘community’ is ‘a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common’. I firmly believe that Stockton Centre is a COMMUNITY for those who call it home. It is not an institution.

    Stockton Centre or Stockton Hospital and it once was known, could easily have been described as an institution when around 1200 people called it home in dormitory style accommodation under very different living standards. Through choice, many have left Stockton to live elsewhere. Now the same buildings have been modified and renovated to provide modern accommodation for about 350 people who have chosen to stay. Entirely new homes have also been built over the last 20 years. This has all taken place on land the size of a small suburb connected to suburbs to the north and south. The east and west are bounded by the Pacific Ocean and Hunter River.

    There are no fences keeping people locked away, which is often implied by some; residents do not have to fear busy roads to cross and there is around 208 acres of grassed areas, gardens and sitting areas to wander and relax. Most buildings are not locked unless there is a risk to safety.

    People also argue that those who reside at Stockton are ‘put there and left there’. The implication is that residents do not venture out of their homes. The steady stream of buses and cars that leave the area each day taking residents to lunch, out shopping, to medical appointments, to meet with family, to concerts or to sit in a local park would dispel that theory in an instant.

    There is also the suggestion that residents have no say in their day to day choices; that they have to eat the same or dress the same as those they live with. There is no truth to this claim. Every resident is treated as an individual involving complex planning with all stakeholders taking place regularly to ensure that all residents have their individual needs and wants met.

    People who live at Stockton are free to move away at their will. The concern for many is that the appropriate support services will not be as readily available as they are at Stockton.

    It has been said that under the plan, people can choose to stay at Stockton if they wish. Unfortunately, this will mean the complete demolition of the current community and having it replaced with group homes tucked in a corner of the current site. And only a handful are allowed to make that choice. That really is not a choice.

    I feel especially for those who have lived at Stockton for most of their lives and are now there 80s and 90s. They enjoy watching cricket matches on the Owen Partridge Oval, or seeing Santa arrive by helicopter each year, or enjoying fairy floss at the annual fete. I imagine my own grandparents living in an environment where they want for nothing and have the best of care and then having it ripped out from beneath them.
    The situation saddens me.

    • Beautifully articulated and indeed a far cry from an institution now.
      Only differences from stockton centre and an over 55′s complex is the immediate reach to medical care and 24hr personal care at their fingertips! !
      Thankyou for enlightening the narrow minded people who have no idea of the quality care for these beautiful people who live at stockton centre

    • Jason, thank you for your beautiful addition to this story which perfectly explains everything I have heard from people I know who are associated with Stockton and everything I have witness myself when I’ve visited Stockton ever since I was a child. My cousins lived in Fullerton Rd and my Aunty (who has worked with people living in Stockton as a therapist) still does.

      Wendy and David are friends of mine and, as I see it, the situation is just not as simple as described in the main story. I am uncomfortable with the implication the mother is not listening to her son and not acting in his best interests. Knowing people personally is far more informative than reading snippets about them in the newspaper.

      The land is stunning and facilities are excellent and it’s a short ferry ride over to the city to catch a movie or a show. I have a 21 year old son with severe intellectual disability and moderate physical disabilities. I’d love a cottage in Stockton, over near the 25 metre in ground pool, thanks very much.

      Its far better than moving to a yet to be established suburb on the outskirts of town or on a busy traffic intersection or on previously polluted ex-industrial land or on land with inconvenient zoning limiting the development that can occur on the site or in another town altogether or wherever the government can get cheap land that no-one else wants!

      I have some idea of the land ADHC goes for because they’ve offered several clearly unsafe, undesirable and unsuitable sites over the years for my son’s home and now that they have bought a block of land, the Land and Environment Court, or someone, won’t let them cut down the necessary trees to build the house. This process which began in 2010 is supposed to be complete November 2015 but we’re not at all confident because they can’t even draw up plans until the tree issue is decided!

      Whoops, “speak of the devil” as I type this (after spending a glorious NYE and NYD with my son) I receive a text that my son has just smashed the glass front door of the 1940′s house they have been forced to rent since 2010 – full of old fashioned plate glass. His hands, wrists and forearms look like those of a serial self-harming cutter! Maybe ADHC are hoping if they delay the new house long enough he’ll sever a major artery and they will have one less person to accommodate. Better go see if I need to rush off to the emergency department.

      Everyone (other than Jason who apparently understands the issues), just try to understand that people with severe and profound intellectual disability have very particular and unique needs and are not exactly the same as every other PWD!

  3. As is usual in this line of argument, there are a number of issues that remain unaddressed. The first is the “no need to go anywhere” fiction. The overwhelming majority of People with a Disability are living not in their own homes, but in those of their parents. These parents are often in their 70s and 80s and getting older by the moment. This ideology releases government from any responsibility to provide housing for PWD and that is exactly what the NDIS plans to do – close its eyes to the urgent and desperate need for housing and keep the ageing carers caring.

    The second issue is that PWD who live in the community often DO lack essential supports and often do live in poverty. In my community, I see many people who have been left to fend for themselves except for perhaps an hour a day of support after leaving a large residential.
    Their lives are lonelier, less varied, less full and many of the things that were important to them no longer exist. This does not fit well with the world-view of many advocates who choose to believe that “inclusion” is a panacea for all ills. Perhaps this is why there are no checks in place to see that NGOs perform their jobs well and no mechanism for consequences if they don’t. So PWD are at the mercy of what are sometimes negligent providers.

    The third issue is the naive call for the residents of Stockton to voice their own opinion about their futures. Many of these people do not have the verbal skills to do such a thing, as the author must realize. Even those who could do so would be unable to imagine or comprehend a world so different from their own and therefore make an informed choice. This is why we must defer to the families who have no agenda but the best interests of the people they love. Perhaps the families resisting closure believe that it will take many generations for us to “change our attitudes and our practices” and in the meantime, the safety and well being of their family member outweighs philosophical correctness.

  4. Contrary to the hype, what little research has been done on the outcomes of deinstitutionalisation of people with severe & profound intellectual disabilities is depressing. European studies clearly identify serious health issues & deficiencies in access to adequate health services. A Californian study revealed a 47% increase in risk-adjusted mortality. I find it difficult to understand how anyone could equate “better off” with an increased likelihood of illness & premature death.
    Families are all to conscious of the complex needs of their relatives who live in the Hunter Residences; needs that are now being met, but cannot be met in understaffed & overworked group homes, GP & dental clinics, ambulance services & general hospitals.
    If “choice” is important to you, how can you judge the informed choice of family members? The people they love cannot make informed choices. How dare anyone who has not had the experience families have dare tell them want they should want.

  5. I am one of the `parent carers’ of PWD `locked in’ for over 4 decades caring for our PWD with low mod intellectual(not quite but nearly severe) & other disabilities & thus having no life, no holidays, etc.etc..ever really… constantly trying to get services (that refuse to come, or be found..i.e. nothing available or do not stay, etc.)

    I am `gobsmacked’ by the ignorance of the MANY, including advocates who are most likely self-interested in one way or another or otherwise so unworldly & idealistic they do not live on Terra Firma. WAKE UP!

    Some well placed self-styled advocates supposedly leading the masses of carers with PWD, & those advocates with PWD of their own have seen the opportunity during the past few years of NDIS spinning(having positioned themselves in such places to acquire their need for support services for their PWD to reap what they can NOW, OR PREVIOUSLY in recent years, to ensure when the NDIS arrives they are ensured to have a BIG FAT PACKAGE that cannot be removed by the NDIS (we all received a letter to say no-one will get less with the NDIS than we already receive…pity those with little!)…but do not care for fate of the vast majority of we carers of decades & our loved PWD & those to come being left with CRUMBS!)

    Golly after all these years most of us who struggle & being continually `slapped down’ by government, society, agencies, & now our own kind (carer advocates) in their race to outfit themselves & thus leaving their fellows, their brethren, the majority, out in the cold…WITHOUT.

    In my state, NSW, NO funds are being released at all for PWD SUPPORT SYSTEMS(except for those who already have pittances & have not lost them one way or another…this happens too,one losses support & it is not replaced, or replaced with less) or families – the vault is bare, only funds in current budget to be released are those for people (PWD) already in state care in institutions being devolved(i.e. NSW is only allocating funds for those they/the state is already responsible for…& guess what??? any residents of communities on BIG TRACTS OF LAND, like Stockton are being emptied for the gain to be got from valuable real-estate!!!)

    And funds of a very small amount 6m for employment support….i.e. support for those able to work to get them off the DSP. Yes, 6 m being spent to try to lessen the cost to the state…fair enough if the person is capable. Mine is not capable of regular work.

    Yes, this is the wonderful state of NSW where the budget just announced has done a disability `smoke & mirrors’. i.e. CALLOUS & DECEITFUL..but many people not in the system think the budget is fair to PWD. Oh, you have been conned..not we carers we can read between the lines by now. Big laugh now everyone…..only it is TRAGIC! Tragic for those of us waiting decades for a fair go for ourselves having run yards daily on the continual merry go round of care, & who love our PWD & want & need to protect them in this UNSAFE world.

    Hey guys have you seen what services are available for the Stockton community residents???? All medical, ancillary, recreation, etc. etc. Gosh if I had a PWD with severe & worse problems I would thank my lucky stars if I had access for my PWD in such sheltered & beautiful surrounds bordering the sea! Such property is rare….hence the need to empty & recoup the dollars. Hey guys hold onto your Stockton Community…you have it made.

    Such service availability for the PWD like those with long suffering parent carers are non-existent who for love & in the wave of new thought decades ago…brought their afflicted babes home & put themselves in states of perpetual caring(slavery) believing & hoping that they `were up to the challenge’ & hoping the world would be kind.
    The world is NOT…kind. Any support one acquires one has to fight `tooth & nail’ for & work on one’s PWD from birth to enable them to perform at (hopefully) their peak & to prevent the mental health breakdowns that often attend disability, …WHY because these people/PWD…HELLO…ANYONE THERE with a modicum of brains!!!! are intellectually disabled & not up to coping in this WONDERFUL WORLD, that some former commentators describe. I must live on another planet by their descriptions. Then their are the health issues, usually many…the nursing, we carers are unqualified but highly effective nurses..UNPAID of course.

    Man Up to reality I say, this world is deeply flawed & one needs every iota of one’s wits to survive in this pressure cooker of human frailty & vices & even then people fall foul of the world’s evils….& you are telling a Stockton Mum what she needs to do …i.e. expose her PWD to the risk of the public transport system. What a joke…a sick one. You people are just unreal.

    As for community..out there in the `normal’ world ..what community accepts people with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual disabilities?? Hey if there are any of you of this fabled community/persuasion `out there’ please make yourselves available (voluntarily…now that’s the rub!) to support those in the community like us who desperately need support before they die of frustration, overwrought, etc…Please send a list through on this website provide your names, addresses, contact phone numbers, leave an offering for people like us – my partner & I would dearly appreciate being matched up with this rare breed of (trustworthy) humanity, not previously encountered in decades. And wait for the rush…

    The human being of this century remains the human being of last century & of those before & do not like or cannot cope being around intellectual disability or mental illness, etc.etc. The more severe the disability, the more the `community’ turns, runs or attacks…yes, attacks that is a form of defense you do realise. And people (normal that is)who feel the need to be protected from being around those who do not match their perception of normal…attack & sometimes fiercely, or we live & learn. It is crushing.

    Oh yes in a FAIR & SAFE world it may be nice to permit one’s PWD to travel around at their will but not in the REAL WORLD. How dare you criticise the Mum of the PWD at Stockton for protecting her PWD who quite frankly, like mine, would not be able to make a decision based on reality & with a view to their safety… How dare you criticise a parent for wanting their PWD safe, I would want no less for my `normal’ offspring who too must cope in this imperfect & often dangerous world, but at least they have their full QUID…i.e. Have a decent IQ…unlike those with intellectual difficulty like one of my offspring.

    I am made so very angry by such trite comments totally lacking in wisdom or reality or decency…you people who are so ignorant should learn to hold your tongues.

    You advocates who only are interested in serving yourselves, one way or another, ditto, hold your tongues.

    Every body should be made to work with the intellectually disabled whilst they are at school so they gain some proper understanding of the challenges(read HARDSHIPS) and the drudgery involved…there are a few good people or of good nature, they these few oasis…which are generally the ones which stop us parents in extreme distress from doing the unthinkable…the remainder of humans are all self interested at best, selfish, self-indulgent or at worst predatory…in one way or another.

    The truth is the NDIS is designed to cut costs…I can’t see any way otherwise & I am desperate that any future will bring the care & support, we parents caring for our PWD need & have waited for & been recently tantalised with…& which our PWD need to release us from our entrapment, even for a while, & to support our PWD as we are so tired of so doing now, decades later. In fact our support systems have decreased lately rather than increased! How’s that for you vapid commentators?

    There is no medical support unless the GP bulk bills, ditto the specialists…not all specialists are so inclined!!! A parent still needs to take & bring home their PWD from the GP(over a life time there are many of these visits required & need to be organised etc…all admin we do), Specialist, Dentist, physio, speech therapist, podiatrist,optometrist, ditto most of these services cost heaps…etc..etc. There is only one service use permitted under a GP plan for a medicare service for these ancillaries – all others need paying from one’s PWD’s DSP, or parents who can `shell out’. Yes, the DSP Mr Abbott intends to decrease is expected to cover all & sundry, it does not.

    Got any idea how much the hourly rate of care is through a NGO NFP? Between $35-$40 & that is the day rate, not the evening, night or weekend rate! Rises exponentially for weekends & holidays. Poor old DSP does not cover such extravagances & there are no packages I know of that cover anything but a few `one on one’ hours (if one is lucky enough & persistent enough to get one for their PWD) & certainly not for nights or weekends, or holidays…no, indeed siree.

    Packages are as rare as hens teeth & as small for PWD living with their parent carers.

    One (carer) needs to be genuinely ill(with medical certification to prove) & at the end of their tether to obtain a pittance in the way of services. Those in group homes are left to the discretion of the NGO NFP(or via parent still alive and able) to secure via department some sparse hours & then needs to be trustworthy enough to actually deliver the services & not pocket the funds. I know of PWD like mine(but thankfully not mine, still in my care), in the system, loitering, drinking, smoking, ending in hospital & sleeping on the streets, …yes, PWD in a NFP NGO group home presently but fallen though the cracks & still loitering, drinking etc……parents dead…yes, at the mercy of the winds.

    I could `go on’ but I think you may have the picture now!

    GROW UP all you vapid commentators who think `out in the community’ is EDEN…Eden was lost long ago. The only EDEN in the community is in the family home where the parents, usually the mother is trapped day after day, year after year, decade after decade until death releases us.
    The NDIS, we were `told’, was meant to release us from this life, to provide transport, services, etc. etc…being the cynic I am, I believed it a CON…& I have been found correct. However, I will be very happy indeed to be proved wrong & to find that the NDIS will indeed be a gold class service of support whilst we live & after for the safety & care of our PWD…

    • Dear Sanity,
      I really appreciated your comment, even though it made me sadder & angrier. Because I know of the many families giving their all to care for intellectually disabled children, without any support, I was surprised when the people, who are well cared for at Stockton, Kanangra & Tomaree, were included in the NDIS trial. I was enraged when the NDIS was used as an excuse to privatise & abandon them to NGO’s. How can this govvernment provide even more money to evict them from their homes, when they know damned well how much unmet need there is in the community – needs that are devastating families who care? For a fraction of the cost, existing Centres could be opened to give exhausted families a break; not misused so there’s no chance of limited funds benefiting people who desperately need them.
      Like you, I’m sickened by the holier than thou attitude of people, who have no idea what it’s like caring every day for someone with an intellectual disability,telling the real experts how to live. The pity of it is, they’ll learn when the funds run dry.
      I wish I had some more positive suggestions for you than to keep fighting. You’re living a valuable life most people don’t begin to understand, & deserve much better
      Regards, Lorraine

  6. I do not have a relative in one of the large residentials about to be closed by an unfeeling and uncaring Government, but I have been a volunteer at Stockton Centre for 15 years, and I know that the services provided there will never be duplicated in the community. The clients with profound disabilities owe their lives to prompt and skilled medical attention which is provided on the spot thus reducing many hospital admissions. How will that prompt expert care be available in Group Homes, or through our hospital system which is already struggling?
    Telling a client that he is able to live in the community, does not mean that the Client understands the implications of what that involves, or can make an informed decision about the best place for him to live. In reality the restrictions on that client would be far greater in the community to keep him safe than they are presently. There is far greater freedom at Stockton Centre than there could ever be given him in the community.
    How arrogant for anyone to assume they know better than the parents of a person with a disability. The parents should have the right to insist that their loved ones are safe and protected in whatever environment they feel is best for them. After all they are the ones with years of experience with that person. How sad that right is being ignored.

    • Bravo! Well said, but also true for those PWD(intellectually) now being `sheltered’ by parents, who struggle & are in grief & shock at present political `solutions’.

      Your comment is equally true for those with moderate & severe (even top end of severe) people with intellectual disability & probably also for those with mild intellectual disability. Every PWD has the right to be cared for to cover their basic needs for nutrition, housing, safe & reliable transport, health care…all these needs to keep body & soul together are not being met in the `community’…but by parent carers & those already in sheltered communities like Stockton.

      Our people do not need these communities like Stockton devolved they require them expanded, individuals grouped by their status. i.e. you would not put those with challenging behaviours with those who function highly(jargon for no behavioral problems…often due to intensive & timely parental care) Nothing of the like is being developed NOR

      What the public does not know but those in ADHC & government do know but probably don’t quite understand is that intellectual disability denies the individual the ability to rationally comprehend reality nor have the ability to `chart’ the safe progress of their lives.

  7. I wonder how many of the parents lobbying fiercely for Stockton to remain open will have their nice lives disrupted if their kids come home?

    • Further thoughts:
      What would you do Janet if you or a family member were struck down with a permanent manifest disability, especially with intellectual disability who are unable to chart their life needs themselves?
      Would you for your entire lifetime be able to cope day & night from birth without substantial support without unravelling in one way or another or in multiple ways?

      Is it also ok to you Janet for all other members of society to have a NICE life excluding those who are unfortunate to birth a person with significant life disrupting disabilities or acquire these disabilities through adverse circumstances not of their making?

      If this is the case, i.e. that you believe parent carers of the manifestly disabled should not have support to have some sort of existence some times &/or relief (after decades when they themselves are aging & with their own health & physical limitations) like those in the wider community enjoy all their lives up until their aging makes life difficult or almost impossible, then I & many others would consider you a sad person lacking in empathy in the extreme.

      Also for some people their offspring’s disabilities are so profound they simply cannot cope, or perhaps some individuals cannot cope at all with a manifestly intellectually disabled baby & fall apart psychically even if the person is likely to be moderately or severely intellectually disabled. What then do you expect?

      As I see it, if a parent is unable to care there must be an alternative & a suitable one at that. This type of support is that provided in a caring & advanced society.

      It is not that we don’t love our person with intellectual disability, in fact we love & care for them fiercely, but the fact is we are human, not goddesses or gods & we all have our own unique limitations.

      After over 4 decades of care for my person with manifest intellectual disability I feel I have earned much support for my person. I am worn out in every sense of the word, my person is not profoundly disabled nor with difficult behaviours, but is a child mentally….very wearying.
      He cannot having an adult body socialise with children who are his mental equals…..it does not work this way, Janet.
      But I do not feel any bitterness for those who, for whatever reason, relinquished their baby, tot, child, teen into state care, for as far as I am concerned anyone should not judge until you walk in the person’s shoes for years.

      BTW….you can go and have your NICE life now

  8. Janet if you didn’t birth or care for a person with a relatively severe disability (described as manifest)you haven’t a clue, not a clue, you are clueless.

    Anyone who bears a person with manifest disability never passes a day without concern, worry, fear, anguish, grief, mental if not physical exhaustion the later particularly if they care from birth for their person at home. There comes a time when we must relinquish our person to the care of others. There must be a variety of options to suit the multi-varieties of manifest disability.
    We expect nothing less than appropriate & dedicated care.
    Or do you suggest the street?

    I doubt anyone supporting Stockton with, or without their own people resident there have what you say…`a life without disruptions’ but most likely all are past middle age & in elder years.
    So what and how do you propose they cope with people with manifest disabilities (some profoundly & some with troubling behaviour problems)at a time when they are facing their own declining health with age?

    Do you know that Beecroft (Sydney suburb) street refused to accept a group home to be located in their vicinity?

    The stigma never leaves us..

    So what do you propose?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>