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Emergency Services for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Expanded in NJ

Emergency services play a crucial role in the well-being and support of individuals with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). These services are vital because individuals with disabilities may face unique challenges during emergencies, requiring specialized care and assistance. In moments of crisis, individuals with I/DD may experience heightened anxiety, communication difficulties, or specific behavioral needs that necessitate immediate and tailored intervention. Columnist Jeff Edelstein of The Trentonian reported on expanded emergency services happening in New Jersey.

Commissioner Sarah Adelman of the New Jersey Human Services department has announced significant enhancements to the statewide emergency services programs aiding adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Contracts have been awarded to three organizations—Community Options, Inc., Community Access Unlimited, and Oaks Integrated Care—to manage emergency capacity services (ECS) programs across the state. These ECS programs specifically cater to individuals with I/DD, including those with acute behavioral needs requiring immediate residential and day program support. The funding secured will ensure round-the-clock availability for admissions, seven days a week, 365 days a year, with continuous 24-hour coverage.

Referrals to the ECS programs are made by the Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities. While the Division has previously managed ECS programs, these new contracts aim to bolster behavioral support and improve service delivery in various aspects. The services offered are intended to be short-term, spanning no more than 60 days, prioritizing the health and safety of the individual while devising a plan for permanent supports.

In addition to primary services, ancillary support such as recreational activities and transportation to and from community services—including day services or transitional activities—will be included. If alternate day services are unavailable upon admission, daytime activities will be provided. Moreover, transportation to day services, routine and specialized medical care, mental health support, and other necessary services will also be offered.

All new programs are mandated to be licensed, open, and operational by June 30, 2024.”

Click here to view original article www.trentonian.com

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Specialized Care Benefits

By providing timely and specialized care, these services help prevent further escalation of issues, promoting the individual’s physical and mental well-being. Furthermore, such services facilitate a coordinated and collaborative approach among various stakeholders, including government agencies, healthcare providers, and community organizations, to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the support they need during challenging circumstances.

The commitment to enhancing emergency services reflects a broader societal recognition of the importance of inclusivity and equitable access to critical care for all members of the community.

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