Institutionalized Care


Grouping people with developmental disability as well as calling them names such as insane or disabled has been a common thing in the past. These groups of individuals would then (after being classified as socially unfit) be put into confinements mostly referred to as institutions for the disabled where their connection with their families and friends is cut short. In these facilities, people with developmental disability undergo different treatment much of which is inhumane such as being deprived of some fundamental rights. The practice (that of institutionalizing people with developmental disability) is shown by many pieces of research to have started long time ago and to have existed among humans long enough to the point of being socially accepted. As such, the following discussion seeks to disagree with this practice by providing facts regarding its negative side. Hence, this work argues that adults with developmental disabilities are better served in their families than when taken to institutions for ‘care.’ 

To begin with, allowing people with developmental disability to be taken care of in their families leads to their improved quality of life. Such is because while in their families, these people’s potential to socialize is well boosted by the family members who understand them better, and who have more interest in them compared to employed employees in the institutions who simply work to earn. In the film, Fence, Bono tells Troy that “Some individuals construct barriers to either lock people in or out” implying that we should be ready to accommodate our own no matter what. Such is further advanced by Kozma, Mansell and Beadle-Brown (2009, p. 193-216) who argue that having people with developmental disability heal while with their family members allows them to contribute to their societies which develop them too and saves them from isolation pains. As such, research has identified that other than being disabled, these people feel mistreated as well as discriminated anytime that they are separated from their friends and families because of having disability. With this regard, it is thus of paramount importance that we from now consider closing all these institutions and bring our people back for care. 

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Closely related to the above point is the aspect of better adaptive behavior that individuals with developmental disability acquire through increased family contact when not taken to institutions. As such, allowing this group of individuals to live amongst its family members enable them to form friends as well as share materials with other abled people which boost their feeling of being welcomed and appreciated. Such is if fact in line with the contemporary groups formed by individuals with developmental disability to fight for their rights as ordinary human beings who require respect and love. It is also supported by the movie Fence, when Troy says “You got to take the crooked with the straights” as well as he says “…provide everyone with the offer to drive the truck…” in scene one (The Fence 2010). Consequently, setting this disadvantaged group free to interact with the public as they are taken care of by their families have positively changed public’s attitude towards them hence boosting their adaptive behavior like said before (Jolly 2009, p. 1-10).

Equally important, taking care of our family members with developmental disability at family level protects them from the horrific conditions that are subjected to while in the institutionalized care centers. Reports on studies conducted in these care centers have identified that they are always overpopulated hence do not have sufficient space for our beloved family members to enjoy the good life that we often think they do. Other studies have also argued that very few of these institutions are adequately staffed meaning that our disadvantaged members of society who indeed require more care and attention never receive it in many cases. That notwithstanding, the additional issue of abuse and subjection to increased health risks as well as manipulation of people with developmental disability while in the care facilities too render the institutionalized entities unreliable and unhealthy (Disability Justice, 2017).         

Contrary to the above points, those opposed to the family based assistance to our community members with disability argue that these people’s care is quite expensive and require skilled care that is only guaranteed in the institutionalized care provision centers. As such, the opposers argue that deciding that each family takes care of their member with disability will be overburdening people coming from humble background. With this regard, they also argue that the institutionalized care often gets sponsorship including that from central governments. Thus, the supporters of institutionalized care, who are also the opposers to family-based care, says that the centralized provision ensures equality as well as creates a pool of resources to ease the heavy burden. Furthermore, these central facilities are advocated to easily acquire skilled care providers who then indiscriminately provide the care to all who need it in the institution (Dieffenbach 2012, p. 1-30).     

However, no matter how convincing the supporters of institutionalized care for people with developmental disability may seem to be, a close look at these facilities disapproves their argument as has been shown by many researchers. To this effect, (Kozma, Mansell & Beadle-Brown 2009, p. 193-216) study on these establishments identified that virtually none of them is adequately funded. The study reiterates that the centers are always underfunded and that none of them is effectively managed. Such findings thus disapprove (Dieffenbach 2012, p. 1-30) claims and supports the home-based care. Moreover, Troy in the film, Fence says “Liked you? Who the hell say I got to like you?” while her mother says “…I have to devise a way to do away with that shadow” (The Fence scene two) confirming that we most of the times seek institutionalized care facilities to simply part with our community members whom we feel as bothers to us. 

In conclusion, the above discussion has successfully shown that institutionalized care provision to people with mental disability causes more harm than good. It thus reiterates the importance of closing all these facilities and taking our beloved family members with us so as to take proper care of them. This discussion also notes with much concern the possibility of resources embezzlement through this care centers and thus calls for their dissolution.

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  1. “The Fence 2010,” Web. 
  2. Dieffenbach, Benjamin, “Developmental Disabilities and Independent Living: A Systematic Literature Review,” pp. 1-30, Web. May 2017. 
  3. Disability Justice, “The Closing of Willowbrook,” Web. May 2017. 
  4. Jolly, Debbie, “Research paper on Community Living and the support of Independent Living: Costs and Benefits,” pp. 1-10, Web. May 2017.  
  5. Kozma, Agnes, Mansell, Jim & Beadle-Brown, Julie, “Outcomes in Different Residential Settings for People with Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review,” pp. 193-216. Web. May 2017.
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