A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

This mom knows about care and caring; Point/Arc stepped in to help with her Down Syndrome son

By Andy Furman
The Point/Arc

(Editor’s Note: We are withholding last names of the family due to HIPPA rules and the family’s request.)

She’s 68 and suffers from congenital heart failure, diabetes and Stage 4 Kidney Failure.

That’s not a trifecta anyone picks.

Yet Marcia lives with it — daily – and worries about Michael – her 35-year-old son who has Down Syndrome.

“It’s been difficult, to say the least,” said Marcia, a Ft. Thomas native. “Especially since I live alone.

“But, if I didn’t have The Point/Arc to care for Michael I don’t know what I’d do. I have no family to care for him. He’d probably be on some long list for help.”

Help is exactly what Mom needed when she was rushed to the hospital about a year-ago.

“Michael was with me when I was in the hospital,” she said, “he had nowhere else to go – and no one to care for him.”

Enter The Point/Arc – the non-profit founded in 1972 to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) achieve their highest potential educationally, socially, residentially and vocationally.

“Michael was placed on an emergency list,” she said. “There was a respite opening at The Point/Arc. They had an opening for a third-person in an extra bedroom.”

And Michael celebrated his one-year anniversary as a permanent resident at The Point/Arc on the 22nd of July.

He resides at The Remke Home in Florence; one of 15 such residential facilities owned and operated by The Point/Arc.

“But,” adds Mom, “Michael and The Point/Arc go way back. He worked at The Point Arc Laundry after graduating Highlands High School in 2004.”

The Point/Arc Laundry Company is just one of four enterprises offered at the Covington-based non-profit. The Apparel Company, Cleaning Company and The Point/Perk Coffee Shop are the others.

“Our residential program fared the coronavirus pandemic and kept our 47 residents healthy and safe,” Terri Angel, Executive Director and RN, proudly states, “but the pandemic has left us with a severe shortage of staff to serve the residents in our (15) homes.

“The program (residential) relies on the reimbursement from the Medicaid Waiver, Supports for Community Living, to make ends meet. It’s not enough to pay our hard working Direct Support Professionals what they deserve,” she said.

“Working with intellectual and developmental (I/DD) disabilities is personally rewarding and gives one a tremendous feeling of self-worth,” Angel said. “A lack of staffing is a lack of homes.”

Just ask Michael – he was one of the lucky ones.

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