And when parents are too old and frail? Can we make a leap and assume that extended family and siblings inherit a moral and ethical duty to assume the same care? Or are their lives too important? Is it not the duty and the obligation of society and family to ensure care for the most needy? Is that not the criteria by which our society and we ourselves will be judged? And judgement will occur in future time as consciousness evolves to higher planes? Our children are our children, not the children of institutions. Yes, I realize the insufficiency of social supports; I realize the indifference of family and friends in assisting us in the care of our disabled family members; I realize the rationalizations on why those closest choose to be the farthest. Yet, I realize that group homes and institutions, no matter how wonderfully construed, are grossly inadequate in providing the love which is the lifeblood of the disabled. And no matter how cognitively compromised the person, they feel the love and dignity emanating from loving care....without those elements there is only death.
So, my judgmental self says close all the group homes, the institutions and residentials....allow the family to care for their own (with complete financial, physical and emotional supports) and counsel them to understand that providing care is the highest reward, the utmost self-realization and the deepest meaning.