One of my favorite Halloween traditions is to hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with cooked stew for dinner. I often put it in the oven for a little while to get the skin dark. It is the simple things that make holidays special in group homes.
There are lots of inexpensive decorations to make and even buy from a local 99 Cent store. Keep a few bucks out of the holiday budget set aside for the after holiday sales to buy decor for next year. Items that can be used for fall and Thanksgiving decorations are great because they will get more use. Spoonful has some great ideas in their Best Halloween Decorations post.
I love the way people take the challenge of a disability and turn it into a strength. Instead of grumbling about the challenges of Halloween costumes for someone in a wheelchair many people have allowed it to spark their imagination and creativity to make costumes that can turnout even better than those of less creative able-bodied people.
The post Wheelchair and Walker Costumes from 2010 was updated with some new links for costume ideas from these amazing people. I love that every year more people get creative with costume ideas for people who are disabled. In many of the pictures at first glance it isn’t even noticeable that the base of the costume is a wheelchair or walker!
A forced marriage is when one or both parties are unable, incapable, or not allowed to decide who they marry. When a marriage nullification request was denied for a disabled man who required full time residential care, light was shined on a growing problem…forced marriages. Disabled people were being married off even though they were incapable of consenting to marriage.
There are various reasons this is occurring. Some of them include the following:
- Parents will marry off their children in hopes the new spouse will become a caregiver
- The non-disabled spouse want citizenship
- Access to the disabled person’s money
- Cultural factors
If a person has the intellectual capabilities of someone under 18 years old they should have the same restrictions of being married as someone under 18 no matter what their actual age is. With this being brought to light we can only hope that advocates will step and protect all vulnerable people from this type of abuse. Sadly it is expected there will be many more cases now that this abuse is being brought out in the open.
For more information on the above mentioned case go to TheGuardian.com. A factor in this case was that the woman was not aware of the disability until the wedding day and wants to remain married to avoid being ostracized from the Sikh community.
Though residents should always be listened to and all concerns investigated there may be times when they may give inaccurate information. They part of a vulnerable community that often cannot speak for themselves so it is important to take what they say seriously. Due to intellectual disabilities they may not process situations or anger accurately. It is important for group home staff to conduct themselves in a manner that doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. In addition if there does seem to be an issue it is important for a supervisor to be aware in case of accusations in the future.
In the news is a group home managed by A Brighter Day Family Services. The accusations include lack of toilet paper and inappropriate touching from a staff member. The initial investigation includes residents that said there has been no problems, but they will investigate further over the next 30 days. There is some talk of an unhappy former resident who may be revengeful.
The home has cameras to monitor and hopefully they will help reveal the truth. Staff members can prevent false accusations in the following ways:
- Document any problems with residents
- Avoid any contact that could be misinterpreted
- Use communication logs and include a section to note supply needs
- Speak with a supervisor and document the contact regarding any possible issues
- Educate residents what is and is not appropriate contact
Most residents and fellow staff would never falsely accuse anyone but it is best to make sure that there isn’t any behavior that could be misinterpreted.
For more on the A Brighter Day Family Services case go HERE