DRC helps clients stay out of institutions

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Stories
A photo of a women sitting alone by a window in a institution. Her face is hidden between her knees.

There’s no place like home for Joaquin and Leonarda

Everyone wants to live in the community of their choice with their families and friends. Unfortunately, some people with disabilities don’t receive the services they need or have to move far from their family and friends to get them. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  If people have access to specialized services and supports they can stay in their homes even if they need extra help.

DRC helps people get the supports they need to continue living in the community. Some people move into the community from an institution and unfortunately continue to have a difficult time. Rather than move the person back to an institution, DRC works with the client, family, providers and service agencies to modify services so the individual can stay in their home.  

After a multi-year battle, DRC helped Joaquin Carson, who has a developmental disability, move into his own home with the services and supports he needs to be successful. Joaquin lives near his family in a rural environment he chose, with a support team specially trained to maximize his effective communication, medical and emotional well-being, and community inclusion. Instead of spending his days in an institution, he now serves his community daily by doing what he loves, picking up trash at local parks. He also attends a weekly Disability Studies class at San Diego State University when he can. He goes to conferences, restaurants, stores, and community events. After 15 years in an institution, he is finally home. Joaquin’s family is eternally grateful for his new quality of life.

DRC could not have done it without the help of Joaquin and his family. That included his sister, Diana Pastora Carson, who also served on DRC’s board of directors. Diana created a number of videos about Joaquin’s journey. A link to one of them is below.

 

Elderly client with dementia receives services to be able to live at home

Leonarda DeAnda is an 82 year-old woman with dementia. She can live at home with the help of In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), which pays for attendant care in her home.  Her son, Pepe, is her live-in caregiver. DeAnda’s disability significantly impairs her judgment and memory. Without supervision, she wanders from her home and cannot remember how to get back. She tries to move heavy furniture, which causes her to fall and injure herself.  Nonetheless, the county reduced the amount of DeAnda’s protective supervision from 283 to 44 and a half a month. Pepe immediately requested a hearing on behalf of his mother to appeal the termination.

At the in-person hearing, DRC successfully demonstrated that DeAnda is a danger to herself when she’s unsupervised because of her disability. The ALJ ruled that DeAnda is non-self-directing and ordered the county to reinstate all protective supervision hours. The ALJ also authorized additional time in other areas. DeAnda may now receive 283 IHSS hours a month, which will allow her to continue living at home with her son. That is the best possible environment for her.