Thursday, November 13, 2008

What sorts of people: Caregivers or keepers?

Disability scholar Professor Dick Sobsey has posted these thoughts about a Seattle Post Intillegencer article which tells the disturbing story of a woman living in a Washington residential home facility for people with developmental disabilities who was raped and impregnated by a nursing assistant. Here is the first paragraph:

Many people with disabilities depend on caregivers in various essential areas of their lives. At their best caregiving relationships meet the needs of both the giver and receiver of care. The story of “Aunt Dot” in Rock Hill, South Carolina provides a powerful demonstration of the dedication of many caregivers. Her young niece, who had cerebral palsy and was cognitively impaired, had gone to live with Dot for awhile, so her niece could access a better school program. Decades later in 2008, her then 65-year-old niece was still living with Aunt Dot, when an intruder broke into their home. Her niece was raped and killed, and 86-year-old Aunt Dot was beaten and stabbed and stabbed trying to defend her. Dot lived for another 6 months, and her only regret was that she couldn’t protect her niece. (see icad for more on this case).

Professor Sobsey's (who is the editor of the blog ICAD) full post is here ...