Happy Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Recognition Week!

This week, learn about some startling statistics about family support from Leo; an exciting new community forum on aging with disabilities; seminars on important family issues offered by Fletcher Tilton PC; and more!
Leo's Letter
Share Your Stories With Us

The Arc’s 2017 Survey of Families ( FINDS ) with the University of Minnesota found that 48% of caregivers were either “very” or “extremely” stressed. Of those, many reported frequent work interruptions with about 25% of all respondents having to cut back their work hours due to the lack of assistance at home with caregiving.

It’s simple: families don’t have enough support.

Agencies which provide care in residential, employment, or other community settings are experiencing high rates of turnover. Nationally, staff turnover is documented at 45%.

This week is National Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Recognition Week. Staff - whether DSPs, nurses, other clinical staff - make a difference in people’s daily routines and lives. We want to thank them for their commitment.

Please join us in changing the status quo, and help us make sure that staff receive the support needed. Share your story with us: how staff has made an impact in someone’s life (family or agency) or a pressing need where additional support is needed.  You can share your story here.

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director
Fall Seminars of Importance to Families

Two seminars for families of persons with special needs will be offered this fall at the Courtyard Marriott in Marlborough. They are hosted by attorney Frederick M. Misilo, Jr. who is Chairperson of the Elder Law and Special Needs Practice Group, and Chairperson of the Trust and Estate Department at Fletcher Tilton PC. Fred is also Vice President of The Arc of the United States and past President of The Arc of Massachusetts. 

On Saturday, September 29, the topic is “Housing: Creative Solutions, Options & Challenges.” Presenters include Misilo, Attorney Theresa Varnet, Cheryl Chan of Person-centered Planning Partners, and Chris Miller of Miller Mortgage LLC. Autism Housing Partners is a co-sponsor. Topics will include Government Benefits, Adult Foster Care & Personal Care Attendants, MASSCAP, DDS Prioritization, Housing Models, Mortgages, Special Needs Trusts, and Person-Centered Planning. The presentation will be followed by a Panel Discussion and a Q&A period. The $20 registration fee includes a hot breakfast buffet.

On Saturday, October 27, the topic is “How to Administer a Special Needs Trust” presented by attorneys Misilo, Varnet, and members of the Special Needs Practice Group. Government regulations related to special needs trusts are not intuitive. With proper administration and tax reporting, government benefits can be preserved, and future legal costs minimized. This seminar will help trustees and family members avoid naïve errors that could disqualify the beneficiary from receiving government benefits.

You should attend if you:
  • Are considering establishing a trust
  • Have already established a trust
  • Are already serving as a Trustee
  • Have been named as a successor Trustee  

The $50 registration fee includes a hot breakfast buffet, a mid-morning snack, and a considerable packet of resource materials.

To register, visit www.FletcherTilton.com/seminars-events or call (508) 459-8095.
Join us for a Community Forum: Medical Issues Related to Aging with Disabilities
October 26, 2018 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Lexington Community Center
39 Marrett Road, Lexington

Panelists will provide information about the medical conditions and issues that are prevalent in people with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities as they age.  Seating is limited. Preference will be given to Lexington residents.

  • Ann Neumeyer, MD, a Neurologist and the Medical Director at the Lurie Center for Autism.
  • Julie Anne Moran, DO, a geriatrician and Consultant Physician for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.
  • Stephanie Santoro, MD, the Director of Quality Improvement Research for the Down Syndrome Program and a clinician for pediatric and adult patients with Down syndrome and patients in Medical Genetics at MGHfC and MGH.

Special thanks to the Dana Home Foundation for funding this event.
Vinfen Celebration of Family Partnerships

Each year Vinfen honors families, advocates, self-advocates, and staff who have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve. At Vinfen, we transform lives together and families and other caregivers are an integral part of this transformation. Vinfen will host the 11th Annual Celebration of Family Partnerships on October 3 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood.

If you would like to learn more about the event or attend, please contact Amy Kabilian at 781-626-5080 or kabiliana@vinfen.org .
Training Center
Aging with Autism: Learning from the Life of Donald Triplett
Presenter: Beth Zwick
9/19/18, 12:00pm, Free

This webinar will discuss issues related to aging with autism by considering the life of Donald G. Triplett, a man with autism who turns 85 this year. We will look at his life course and quality of life as he ages, as described by journalists John Donvan and Caren Zucker.
Are you an older caregiver? Join us for a Community Conversation!

As part of the Becker Center, The Arc of Massachusetts is planning community forums across Massachusetts this fall. The purpose is to examine the needs of older caregivers  A recent publication, the Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) 2017 Community Report, states that 2/3 of caregivers are aging. In Massachusetts, over 18,000 individuals are living with family caregivers. More than 9,000 of these family members are adults; 3,100 of the adults are age 40 and older and they live with a caregiver over the age of 60 years.

Older caregivers, elder and disability professionals, policy makers and interested community members are welcome to attend and learn:
  • What older caregivers need to feel supported
  • Where they experience gaps
  • What is most important for service providers to know and understand?
Stay tuned for additional forums! For more information, contact Kerry Mahoney .
Agency Spotlight