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Article: Guide to Community-Based Living

Community-Based Programs for People with Disabilities and Elderly

Table of Contents
  1. Individualized Planning
  2. Case Management Services
  3. Community-Based Programs for People with Disabilities and Elderly
  4. Inclusive Programs/Activities
  5. Personal Assistance
  6. Self Determination
  7. In-home Services
  8. Service Animals

Programs for the Elderly
Programs for People with Disabilities

Community-based programs are organized activities held regularly in non-institutional settings. Programs can be "center-based", meaning they have a building in which they meet regularly and where activities are held. They can also be "community-based", meaning that most or all of the activities are conducted outside of a building while using community resources.

A program can be defined as any activity, class, training, workshop, or regular gathering of people. Programs are generally designed specifically for people with disabilities or for seniors. Each program often focuses on a particular topic. A recreation program, for example, may provide aerobics or an organized sporting event. An independent living program will specialize in teaching "life skills". It may host special classes on money management, finding an apartment, or how to shop. Some programs may also focus on "socialization" and provide a place for people with common interests and experiences to gather and just have fun. Other programs may offer specialty classes where one can learn a new skill such as hula dancing or sewing. There is often a great deal of overlap between different programs but many try to provide a balance of activities. Try out different programs and decide which one you like before making a longer-term commitment.

Community programs have varied schedules and eligibility criteria. Some programs are only available if you are receiving Medicaid Waiver or require you to be a part of a larger program. Some programs may also provide transportation from your home. A good way to explore different programs is to focus on what you want to do and need. You can do this by using a person-centered or individualized approach. See section on Individualized Planning.

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Programs for the Elderly

There are a variety of programs for seniors, elderly, or aging adults. However all seek to provide a safe and stimulating environment. Most programs are center-based, meaning participants travel from their home to a facility where several individuals with similar interests or needs will spend the day. Hours and locations will vary, but typically programs operate Monday through Friday from early morning to mid-afternoon. Many programs will also offer weekend activities. To promote fitness, some programs combine crafts and cultural activities with movement exercises. Healthy meals and snacks are usually provided throughout the day and transportation to the center can sometimes be arranged.

SeniorMag
SeniorMag is an online publication with helpful resources and information for seniors. The "Senior Resources" section contains information on programs and services by state.

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Programs for People with Disabilities

Programs for adults with disabilities vary in nature and type. Typically, these programs are exclusively for adults with developmental disabilities. Most programs are center-based, meaning participants travel from their home to a facility where several individuals with similar needs will spend the day. Hours and locations will vary, but programs usually operate Monday through Friday, from early morning to mid-afternoon. Some programs will also offer weekend activities. Although the activities will vary, participants will benefit socially by meeting other people. Typically, a variety of activities are provided. These may include crafts and cultural activities along with movement exercises. Healthy meals and snacks are provided throughout the day and transportation to the center can often be arranged. Some programs also offer regular outings into the community.

The Federal Government is the largest funding source of programs for people with disabilities in the United States. A report from the U.S. Department of Human Services (DHS) gives a detailed description of the programs currently being funded along with the laws and other legislation that mandates these programs. It includes descriptions of Medicaid, SSI, ADA, Workers Comp, and much more.

Encyclopedia of Financial Gerontology: Federal Disability Programs Section
This is the Federal site that gives detailed descriptions of the programs currently being offered for aging individuals.

Last Updated on 10/23/2015

Friday, September 18, 2020