There are numerous care options available for adults with special needs in California. The options available range from those with special needs who are able to be more independent to those who need advanced medical care. It is important to match the person’s needs and desires with the best possible living option or combination of options.

1. Live with Family Members in California

Family is the first care option that most people consider. For some adults with special needs, a family is a great option. Parents often care for their special needs child until they are no longer able to and then other family members, such as adult siblings, take over the care of the special needs adults. Caring for a special needs family member can be very rewarding, but can also add a lot of stress for family members.  If family members choose to care for their special needs loved one, they may want to do so in combination with respite care or day program options.  However, the family may not always be the best option or may not be an option at all. Some special needs adults are able to be more independent and may wish to have living arrangements that allow for more independence.

2. Independent Living Options

Independent living is for those special needs adults who are able to complete many tasks on their own with only minimal help. Personal care professionals can come into the home and provide the assistance that may be needed. A special needs adult may have a personal care professional come in and assist for a few hours a day or more. This helps the special needs adult to be able to live on their own. There is also assistive technology available that helps people with disabilities maintain their independence. Transportation can be a limitation for those with special needs living independently. Many organizations provide transportation to appointments and jobs to help the special needs adult maintain their ability to live independently.

3. California Group Homes

Group homes can be an excellent option for special needs adults who do not wish to live with family but are unable to live independently. Usually, those living in group homes do not need advanced medical care. A group home is staffed with professionals who manage the home and provide assistance for the special needs of the adults living there. A group home usually consists of four to six special needs adults living together. The benefits of a group home are socialization for the special needs adults and learning to work together with others. It also allows them to still maintain some independence.

4. California Day Programs

Day programs provide options for families who want to keep their loved one living with them but need care during the day while working or who need respite care. Day programs are offered through independent agencies and also through some long-term facilities. Day programs are a great option for working caregivers, while also providing socialization and activity for the special needs adult. Special needs children can continue to go to public school until they are 21, but after finishing school a day program can help to continue routine and structure in the life of a special needs adult.

5. Long-term Care Facilities in California

In some cases, the special needs adults do not have family members who are able to care for them, or the person may not have the means to pay for other care options. Living in a long-term care facility may be a good option for those with advanced medical care needs. These facilities are able to provide care for more extensive needs. Some higher functioning adults with special needs may also live in long-term care facilities, but there are generally other options that allow for those who are able to live more independently

It is important to plan for the care of adult children with disabilities. Planning should include the needs of the special needs adult, the resources available, and the best options to meet those needs. Getting input from the special needs adult can make transitions to new living situations go more smoothly for everyone involved.

If you have any questions about how to best plan for an adult child or relative with disabilities,  please feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our estate planning attorneys to discuss your special needs planning situation. We are here for you and happy to help. 

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Orange County Estate Planning Attorney Kevin SnyderKevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He's all about family and passionate about estate planning, elder law, and veterans. He founded Snyder Law to help people be prepared and have the peace of mind they are protecting their families and aging parents for when life happens.

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