I'm a communications strategist and writer with a long history of journalism in Canada, including 14 years of writing a column for the Victoria Times-Colonist. I'm back in B.C. as of May 2016 after almost five years of living and working in Central America with Cuso International.
I'm reprinting a letter from a desperate mom of a young man with a mental handicap, who is one of several thousand in B.C. experiencing major cutbacks in service and residential care right now. I've heard from many people like this woman - and there are many, many more people with developmental disabilities in our province who don't even have any family to advocate for them.
I'm a mother of a mentally handicapped 24 year old man. I would like to thank you for your article to let people know what's really going on. I think the government and CLBC should be sued for falsely advertising themselves as trying to help families care for their handicapped family member.
My husband and I take care of our son as he still lives at home. They do not want to give us as parents the help we need. All we hear is no money and wait lists! These government bodies are looking to take away their responsibility and push it on aging family members.
This is all fine for us right now, as I want to care for my son. But I would like the resources and help I need to achieve this. As soon as he turned 19 all my rights as a parent were gone because he's an adult. I had to pay a lawyer to be able to have something drawn up so I can represent my son.This province is pathetic - they keep low income, seniors and handicapped people in poverty. It's really disgusting.
I'm one of the lucky ones to be able to work my own hours. If I worked a 9-to-5 job I could never do it. His day program is over at 2 p.m. and he's home by 2:30 . With no funding for after-program hours what does a family do? My son can't stay be himself so I have to be home for him. This is also why people have to give up their family member, because they don't get the help they need and the stress becomes to0 much.
Now with all the closures what's going to happen ? I'm so scared for my son when we are no longer able to care for him. Like most parents who keep their adult children at home, we sacrifice the opportunity to have a normal life without kids at home .We don't have the same opportunity like most people whose kids grow up and leave home ......ours don't.
At this point even if I wanted to have him move out and be in his own home, the funding isn't there to help make this happen . I have no choice but to care for my son until we are physically or mentally not able to do so.
We need to fight this government, for what they are doing is so wrong . I would like them to spend a week in my shoes.