For the immediate halt of home closures for people with learning disabilities
My name is Rosa Monckton and I have a daughter with Down syndrome. Domenica is only 19, so still lives mostly at home. However, I have contact with hundreds of families whose children are older, and who are living in residential care homes, as their parents want to provide them with a secure environment for when they are no longer around to care for them.
In recent months, charities large and small have started to close residential care homes for people with learning disabilities. They are responding to guidance issued alongside the Care Act 2014, which says everyone should live in the community, independently as possible, for as long as possible. National charities, like Scope who are closing 11 homes, are consulting residents of these care homes many of whom do not have capacity to answer the questions they are being asked, resulting in a huge amount of stress for both the resident and their families. No one feels like they are being listened to.
People who depend on and have lived in these residential homes for decades, will find themselves cast out into a community, which is not equipped to look after their multiple needs. With already stretched local authorities, how can we ensure the level of care required will be provided?
Families are too scared to speak up on this matter, because they are locked in debate with Scope and others about the future care of their children. The Campaign for the Learning Disabled, is asking for a halt to the closure of these residential care homes until measures to ensure on-going care will be provided has been put in place. Further to that, we are calling for a Select Committee to be established to clarify terms such as ‘capacity to make an informed decision,’ and a minister who should be made responsible for specifically making sure people with learning disabilities are represented when decisions like closing down their homes are made.
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