To the editor:
I am writing this letter in regard to a letter that I received several weeks ago from New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, informing me that they will be transferring the Respite Services that the state provides to a not-for-profit agency. Their reason being that the state can no longer successfully provide this service at this location. The location is 18 and 19 Hamilton Ave., just before Sunmount.
These services have helped a great many individuals who are caregivers for individuals that are disabled to have the opportunity to have some time to refresh and regroup. My sister Tammy has lived with me in Saranac Lake for more than 22 years. Since my husband John passed away in 1997, I have been her primary caregiver. I have been fortunate to have my family, who live close by, and close friends help, especially when she is not very cooperative. However, the past two years, with her going to Respite, it has made a great big change in our lives. This program also helps individuals who are caregivers to have their family members live at home with them much longer than might be possible. There are many families that will suffer the loss of this program.
It is very scary to think that our loved ones will be the ones who will most suffer with the loss of Respite as we now know it. The individuals who work for Respite are very much part of our families as they take great care of them when they are there.
I am hoping that anyone who reads this letter to please call New York state, or anyone you can think of, in order to have this program reinstated. We have voices to be heard, not so much for the disabled.