Group home activities and socialization

Butterfly88Butterfly88 New Member, Member
Does anybody live in a group home?  I do and they just leave me in my room all day with nothing to do.  Is this typical of group homes?  Are they supposed to have activities?  Are the group home staff supposed to interact with residents?  Sometimes I feel like I live in an institution.  I live in New Jersey, USA if it makes any difference.  

Comments

  • I don't livein a group home, but I work with many people who do live in group homes and I am familiar with a lot of group homes. In my state, Florida, the program is funded by Medicaid on a special Waiver. 

    In Florida, group homes must have an indiviualize program for each resident. The resident and/or guardian decides what the resident will be taught or what kind of community inclusion activities are to be made available. 

    The quality of the programs in the group homes varies. In some, residents have "nothing to do" like you have said. In other group homes, activities are arranged, such as Zoom, going out to eat, going to the park, going to the beach, gardening, dances, bowling, etc. 

    I know many people who love their group homes, and some that don't. It depends on the group home and the individual. 

    How are your services in the group home funded? ie, who pays for it? Are there rules or guidelines for what services the group home must provide? Do you have a support coordinator or case manager who works with you? Do you have a guardian or an advocate who can help you get what you need and want? 


  • Butterfly88Butterfly88 New Member, Member
    @blazingstar Thank you for your response!  That's good to know.  But there are no activities within the home such as board games or movie nights?  I guess that is kind of what I was expecting.  My group home is also funded via Medicaid on a special waiver.  I don't know the rules and guidelines, I will find out.  I do have a support coordinator.  I only met with her once since I only moved in recently. Legally I'm my own guardian and I don't have an advocate.  
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    Are you able to go and do things on your own terms, or do you have to just stay in your room all day?

    I'm not in a group home and don't have any experience with them, but it's odd to hear that you have absolutely nothing to do there. I'm sorry that this is happening to you.
  • Some group homes have movie nights in the home. I have not heard about board games, but it is a good idea. 

    If you are on a developmental disabilities Waiver, you have certain rights. You should also have a support plan. Your support coordinator should tell you about your rights and give you your support plan. You should have been involved in the development of your support plan. 

    I did a bit of googling on New Jersey advocate organization. ARC of NJ says they will help people understand how to navigate the system. Check their website. Also Disability Rights New Jersey can provide you with information.
  • Does anybody live in a group home?  I do and they just leave me in my room all day with nothing to do.  Is this typical of group homes?  Are they supposed to have activities?  Are the group home staff supposed to interact with residents?  Sometimes I feel like I live in an institution.  I live in New Jersey, USA if it makes any difference.  

    Have you made in friends in the home Butterfly? Are the other residents pleasant to live with? Do you have a social/care worker to discuss social possibilities through the winter months?

    @ blazingstar:
    It was kind and resourceful of you to check out on the web.

  • Butterfly88Butterfly88 New Member, Member
    @Hylian I can go in the main area but they haven’t offered to take me anywhere outside of the home.  Thank you.

    Thank you @blazingstar, I will ask about a support plan.  I have an individual service plan that has some information about me, but it’s pretty basic and could probably be revised.  I will check out those organizations.

    @Teach51 I don’t have any friends there right now.  There is only one other resident.  She’s nice but super quiet.  There are two empty beds though so I’m hoping somebody else moves in.  I will talk to my support coordinator.  
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    Are you allowed to go places outside by yourself, and does the other girl do things outside of the home (by herself or with the staff there)?

    It's hard to imagine that they'd think it's okay to have the residents stay inside all the time without any activities, so I'm wondering if they are just expecting you to be able to go do things by yourself.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited November 22
    I can't speak for the US, but I know there is a distinction between "Assisted Living" and the old style homes. @Amity might have more knowledge.

    My understanding is for some folk the enphasis will be on life skills or any specific assistance they need, but would have independence depending safety.

    Also the company or department providing the service would be audited and the facilities inspected.

    On one end of the industry the residents are more like customers. Obviously this might not carry across for everyone. Typically the direction of travel is away from "institutions" .
  • blazingstarblazingstar Citizen
    edited November 22
    Butterfly, I have read, but not responded to your post on WP because I am already talking to you here. The people who responded there seemed to think it was your job to entertain yourself. Perhaps that is true for someone who is there for rehab, a temporary place. But you are making it your home.

    That is what it should be YOUR HOME. You are sharing it with other people, but it is still yours, just like people in the city share an apartment.  Yes, you have to cooperate and have agreements such as not playing a movie loud at 3 am, but it is your home 

    You are probably paying room and board there and it is likely coming out of your social security check. Do you know who is your representative payee for your social security? 

    If the group home is managing your money, they have to show you an accounting of the money spent on your care. 

    Verity is correct that the home is licensed by the state and has inspections. 
  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    Had some experience with it a long time ago but it's a long time ago LOL 30 or more years.For children such programs were highly structured I have no clue about adult programs in modern times.
    They took us on many trips like museums in the winter and swimming and hiking in the summer.
  • Butterfly88Butterfly88 New Member, Member
    @Hylian The other resident goes to Walmart and the dollar store sometimes.  They said they were going to take me apple picking but never did.  The season is over now.  I guess I should have reminded them?

    @verity Yes, there are inspections.  There was an inspector here once but I had only lived there a month and she said it usually takes 45 days to get things set up, but that has passed now.

    @blazingstar I am my own payee.  They take 75% percent of my social security check.  The state gave me a rate for rent but the home takes much more than that.  Do you know what the remainder of the money is supposed to be for?  Is that supposed to fund activities? Seems like a lot to just pay for food or other basic living expenses.

    @Statest16 Good to know!

    I actually went on the group home’s website and it said they have structured activities and are supposed to help me meet goals.  I did make goals but they never did anything with them.  Also my care manager says she wants to visit and see how I interact with the staff but the staff barely interact with me at all.  I hope she can help.
  • blazingstarblazingstar Citizen
    edited November 26
    @blazingstar I am my own payee.  They take 75% percent of my social security check.  The state gave me a rate for rent but the home takes much more than that.  Do you know what the remainder of the money is supposed to be for?  Is that supposed to fund activities? Seems like a lot to just pay for food or other basic living expenses.

    I actually went on the group home’s website and it said they have structured activities and are supposed to help me meet goals.  I did make goals but they never did anything with them.  Also my care manager says she wants to visit and see how I interact with the staff but the staff barely interact with me at all.  I hope she can help.
    If you are your own rep payee, who is “they” and how can they “take” 25%? No one can take money out of your SSI check if you are the rep payee. No one. Social security is a federal program. It is your money. You may have to pay rent, but you get the money first.

    Managing your own money is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your independence.

    It sounds like you are saying the group home gets some money for rent. The group home is also entitled to money for “board” which means the money they get for feeding you. This is customary.

    You should have your own checking account and your social security check gets deposited into your checking account every month.  Then you pay your rent, you pay your board and then you pay whatever other bills,  needs or wants you may have. Typical things would be a cell phone, soap, shampoo, etc, clothing, etc. 

    Below is information right off the New Jersey website about developmental disabilities services. This part is about your care coordinator. Asterix is mine.

    Support Coordination

    Care management and Individualized Service Plan (ISP) development is provided by independent support coordinators working for DDD/Medicaid-approved Support Coordination Agencies (SCAs).  *Support coordinators are required to conduct monthly health and safety monitoring to ensure that ISP services are being delivered and continue to meet individual needs.*

    When an individual has completed the DDD eligibility application process and is eligible to receive DDD services, their DDD Intake Worker will provide them with a Support Coordination Agency Selection Form to complete. Individuals may choose the SCA they wish to work with, or they may choose to be auto-assigned to an SCA. The SCA will assign a support coordinator to work with the individual and caregivers to complete the Person-Centered Planning Tool (PCPT) and the Individualized Service Plan (ISP).

    Once an individual is enrolled in one of DDD's medicaid waiver programs, they have the the right to change their Support Coordination Agency if they choose to do so. To request this change, the Support Coordination Agency Change Form must be submitted to DDD.

    Support Coodination Agency changes are made by DDD at the beginning of the month.

    Individuals and families can use DDD's list of approved Support Coordination Agencies to help them find SCAs that serve their county.

    For additional guidance, individuals and families can visit Selecting and Evaluating a Support Coordination Agency, with links to several guide booklets developed by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.


    NOTE: Your care coordinator is supposed to see you at a minimum of once per month. If you don’t like the one you have, you have the right to get a different one. Interview them first.

  • blazingstarblazingstar Citizen
    edited November 26
    Here is information on NJ group homes. New Jersey websites do not seem to have individualized links. So I have to copy and paste. Look all the way to the end to see about community inclusion. 

    A Familiar Face to Welcome You Home

    NJID’s Residential Services opened its first group home for adults with disabilities in 1981 and since that time the program has grown to include a network of more than 25 homes and apartments throughout New Jersey.

    The decision of choosing a group home is among the most important choices which can be made by a family member. At NJID, a team of compassionate professionals with years of experience offers understanding, information and guidance on the most appropriate residential options available.  NJID has helped hundreds of individuals and families make wise decisions about community living including the successful transition of persons from developmental centers, family homes, residential schools and other residential settings.

    In NJID’s group homes, the person-centered design of each service extends beyond medical supervision and accommodations. Each person is encouraged to participate in home life from meal planning and preparation to leisure activities and the entertaining of friends. The NJID approach is one of respect and appreciation for the unique qualities of every person. 

    Compassionate Care

    • Group Home Managers and Staff Averaging More Than 5 Years of Experience at NJID
    • Comprehensive Services Using the Highest Standards of Care
    • On-going Best-Practice Trainings for Staff

    Safety & Accommodations

    Safe, secure, and therapeutically supportive homes for adults with complex and diverse disabilities offer:
    • 24 Hour On-Site Staffing
    • Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Supports
    • Behavioral Specialist Supports
    • Community Based Fully Accessible Homes
    • Adaptive Equipment On-Site
    • A Transportation Network to Ensure Access to School, Employment, Recreation & Social Activities

    Health & Wellness

    Supports to maintain a healthy lifestyle offer:
    • Medical Oversight for Adults Requiring Specialized Care
    • Medication Monitoring
    • Healthy Lifestyle Choices
    • Accommodations for Changing Medical Needs

    Life Skills

    Independence and self-sufficiency are encouraged through:
    • Activities of Daily Living Training
    • Supports for Choices Which Foster Personal Fulfillment
    • Opportunities to Stay Connected to Family Members and Friends

    Community Integration

    Residential Services extend beyond the home and into the community and provide:
    • Educational and Recreational Activities
    • Cultural and Faith Based Activities
    • Volunteer Opportunities in a Variety of Community Based Settings
    • Encouragement and Support for Independent Choices of Activities
    • Community Supports

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for services, persons must be 21 years of age or older and referred by the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).
  • Butterfly88Butterfly88 New Member, Member
    @blazingstar I just meant I pay the group home 75%. Nobody takes any of the 25% percent.  Sorry for the confusion.  Thank you for all the information!  
  • I’m sorry if I came on too strong. This has been my work for the past 20 years and it riles me up if I think someone’s rights are not being observed.
  • Butterfly88Butterfly88 New Member, Member
    @blazingstar It's okay.  Thank you for trying to help!
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