In a situation where an older adult cares for an adult child with a disability there is a two fold issue: care and planning for the adult older person(s); and care and financial planning for the dependent younger person. After the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, government funding for services and advocacy increased the options for this population. There are still many people with disabilities who did not avail themselves of these services. Those situations often come to light as the parent ages and realize that they need to provide for a disabled adult child. An education and supportive network is often helpful to the older adult parents as they develop plans for their childcare when they are no longer able to provide it. In Chicago, CJE SeniorLife with the support of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago has created a free interagency program entitled Linkages.
- A package of services to address the issues, needs and concerns of adults with disabilities and their parents and family members who serve as the primary caregiver
- Assistance for families in effectively planning for the future of the adult family member with a disability
- Consultation and training for professionals to learn how to work more effectively with complex families
- Attention to the needs of both the adult with the disability and the parent caregiver
The program provides general information and assistance, information and referral for financial and legal planning, referrals for case management, counseling, housing, employment, vocational training, respite services and a variety of other in-home services through the aging and disabilities networks.