by Bill Rodenspiel, Abuse Specialist
Did you know that in addition to advocating for elderly who live in long-term care facilities, Ombudsman Services of San Mateo also assists individuals with developmental Disabilities and their families?
Definition of “Developmental Disability”:
Developmental disabilities are conditions which begins before age 18, and are likely to continue indefinitely, and result in substantial functional limitations in three or more major life activities such as self-care, language, learning , mobility, self-direction, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. These factors can be caused by mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and other conditions or actions similar to that of a person with mental retardation.
The greatest number of people with cognitive impairments are in the mild range; I.Q. of 55-69 who can function in the community with support and services, but also includes others who have many more limitations, both physical, behavioral, and needs which require one-to-one supervision.
The needs of people with such conditions, requires a special interdisciplinary care team, allowing for treatment or other services which are of a lifelong duration and are individually planned or coordinated. Within San Mateo County, this role falls within the Golden Gate Regional Center, who actively coordinate several hundred clients to find housing, adult day care programs, and transportation, and to administer funding requirements, and generally monitor the well being of these clients.
Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County, also plays a critical role in visiting all Adult Residential Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities, Adult Residential Facilities for Persons with Special Health Care needs, Adult Day Care Facilities, as well as Residential Care for the Elderly homes, and Skilled Nursing Facilities. Ombudsman Services will investigate complaints of Abuse or Neglect working with both Golden Gate Regional Center, Community Care Licensing, California Dept. of Public Health, California Department of Aging and Social Services, Public Guardian, and at times police, fire, or the District Attorney.
Together with our partners, our goal is to support the needs of clients with Developmental Disabilities within San Mateo County.