When Parents Get Too Old to Care for Their Autistic Children, Many Wind Up Living in Care Homes
Over 19,000 adults in Singapore are diagnosed with autism. Unfortunately, there are no specialized homes for adults on the spectrum, so they share living quarters in institutions like Bishan Home, one of five residential homes for intellectually disabled individuals in Singapore. The staff there care do their best to handle their special needs, but their training may not be specialized enough to enable them to give the best possible care to autistic people.
Sadly, the same thing is happening not only in Singapore but all over the world. Even in locations where group homes for those on the autism spectrum exist, there is often not enough housing to go around, and this problem is only growing as the number of children diagnosed with autism each year increases.
As parents age and become unable to care for their adult children, they must do their best to ensure another family member will take over the role or that their adult children can get a placement in a group home. If they fail at these tasks, it’s hard to say what will happen to their children when they’re gone.
Watch how brothers Russell and Kenneth, who moved to the home over 12 years ago, live in the home after their aging parents found it difficult to take care of them in their own home without professional help. Their parents worry about what will happen to them after they no longer have someone around to advocate for them.
Many wonder if a generic home is suitable for older adults with autism. Hear from professionals in Singapore who believe a more structured environment may be more conducive to a better quality of life. Hopefully the future will hold better options for adults with autism whose parents are incapable of caring for them anymore and who cannot care for themselves.