Assisted living facilities will become available for 50 adults with special needs by the end of 2019 as part of efforts to combat exclusion and promote greater integration, Christina Flourenzou Kakouri of the Labour Ministry’s Department of Social Services told Phileleftheros newspaper on Saturday.
Kakouri, who heads the ministry’s Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities, said that as a first step there will be 10 houses offering assisted living facilities to 50 adults –five per house — with 24 hour support from specially trained staff.
She said that the Department had found that a number of younger adults with special needs were living in old people’s homes because there was nowhere else to offer them protection, and not as she said because they had been dumped there.
It was more appropriate for young adults to live with people of their own age, she said.
“Our priority is not to exclude individuals who are at a productive and young age,” she said.
Some adults with disabilities, for example, needed some services so as to be able to live independently and the support facilities aim to create conditions where they can live with safety and dignity.
“As is the case with each one of us, covering basic needs such as food, clothing and a roof is not enough. We need to integrate in society, to participate, be as active as we can, to work as much as we can,” she told the newspaper.
The special assisted living programme will start off with 10 houses in all the towns — seven of them for adults with a mental disability, two for adults with autism and one with adults with visual impairment.
The programme is co-financed by the EU and the EU Social Fund for social inclusion.
It was approved by cabinet and bids have been submitted for the agency which will create and run the 10 homes.
These are currently being reviewed so that the bids can be awarded and the facilities can start operation by the end of the year.
“They are ordinary houses just like ours where up to five people will live. They will be offered services based on their needs such as personal care, support in communicating as well as being accompanied to activities in and outside the home,” she said.
Applications have already been received. Application forms are available on the website of the Department of Social Services while more information is available on telephone 22815041.