Team established to support adults with intellectual disabilities at home

Monday 19 July 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board today announced the establishment of a community team that will help and support adult (over 18) intellectual disability clients and their families at home.

The team is part of the Intellectual Disability Directorate, which is based at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute with residential care offered in 14 group homes across Bermuda.

Community Intellectual Disabilities Team (CIDT) clinical manager, Christopher Cunningham, explains: “There is a pressing need for better support for adults with intellectual disability who live at home with their families. People who have intellectual disabilities can live full and wonderful lives at home with their families, and we can help this happen with a strong support service for them. We don’t want families to struggle on their own, or see their loved ones deteriorate because they can’t access the support they need.”

“By providing a support service for clients who live with their families, we want to improve access to safe and equitable care, empower clients and their families to be actively involved in their health care, increase levels of independence, and help clients develop new skills so they can thrive in their community.”

The team is multi-disciplinary, which means that individuals from a number of different professions work together to meet the needs of the clients and their families. The team includes a nurse, rehabilitation therapist, rehab aides, psychology assistant, case manager clinical assistant and is the process of recruiting for an occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist and physiotherapist to complete the group.

Intellectual Disability Director, Morrisa Rogers, adds: “We are thrilled to see the Community Intellectual Disability team established – this has been a long plan in the making. The need is there, and we believe there are many families who could benefit from our support, but who are currently struggling on their own. We want to better support families and their loved ones with intellectual disabilities so they can flourish in their homes. They may have additional needs, but intellectual disabilities should not stop anyone from being able to live a full and loving life on their own terms.”

The service is available via referral from physicians or other agencies, and individuals can contact the service directly if they believe they need it. They should call 249-3807 or 239-3803.

To be eligible, to access the community intellectual disability team service, an individual must be over 18 and have an intellectual disability as defined by the World Health Organisation means an individual has a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence) and a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social function) which started before adulthood with a lasting effect on development (life-long condition). The individual also needs to have a presenting health need that requires intervention from the CIDT, and the person’s intellectual disability is directly impacting their ability to have this health need met through mainstream service.

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