May 1st, 2015 by John Dickerson
May 1 marks another key milestone in Indiana’s history of supporting people with I/DD and their families. North Willow/Golden Living in Indianapolis, the last of three large intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities, made the transition to a tradition nursing home and over 110 people with I/DD have found new homes in the community. It was a tremendous effort by all.
Three months ago, when the decision was made to convert the facility to a nursing home and find new homes for people with I/DD, it came as a shock to some who had lived there for decades. But a concerted effort by the families, Golden Living, FSSA, community providers, Indiana Protection and Advocacy
Services, Self-Advocates of Indiana, INARF and The Arc
made a difficult situation work as well as possible.
For some it was a welcome opportunity, for others it was a very scary idea to move. And to where?
What we saw when everyone pulled together was the positive impact of a team – not always as smoothly as everyone would have wanted it to work – but it worked. And now Indiana has moved another step along the line in developing true community supports.
This comes at the end of a legislative session that provides a state budget that takes key steps to restore cuts to rates for Medicaid Waiver services, and allocates enough funding so that by the end of the next two years we could see the end of the waiting list for the Family Supports waiver. What a wonderful day that will be.
We are fortunate in Indiana to find ways to work together. We certainly have more work to do, but I am confident that continued teamwork will make the right things happen.