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May 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Man reunited with family after 61 years of institutionalization

Don’t fear RHC’s

The article in Sunday’s Times regarding the reunion of a gentleman and his family after years of institutionalization was heart-wrenching. [“He’s a ‘nobody’ no longer,” NWSunday, April 29.]

The system in place that many years ago, thankfully no longer operates in the same manner. Individuals with disabilities can live with their families with supports, or when this is not possible, other options exist. One option is a residential habilitation center (RHC), or institution.

Our family would like it known that Fircrest is an outstanding facility that has faced funding cuts as have those caring for individuals with disabilities in the community. RHCs provide a level of care that includes coordinated professional services that cannot be replicated in the community. Some individuals require this level of care and need this option.

No longer are individuals kept in institutions without an opportunity to look at other alternatives. Admittance to an RHC is a process that a family requests when it is the right choice for their family member. The professional individualized care provided at Fircrest is a far better match for our daughter than the care she received for five years in a supported community placement. We want those who are undecided about placement choices not to fear RHCs.

— Lloyd and Mary Ann Baker, Maple Valley

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Indeed - Fircrest is an undervalued treasure in the Puget Sound community. MORE

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