Transitional & Aging Resources
Resources listed are not endorsed by DSAWM, but are a list of options that are available. If you know of additional West Michigan resources, please let us know at email@example.com.
Understanding Benefits, Guardianship, and More
Once your child turns 18, a number of resources are available to assist in the process of transitioning to adulthood. Begin by connecting with your county’s Community Mental Health organization. The organization will assign a Supports Coordinator to assist with everything from understanding benefits to identifying housing options to CLS (community living supports) coordination. Find your county’s CMH organization
Additional resources that may be helpful to your family include:
Parent/Caregiver Packet: Guardianship, Power of Attorney, and Social Security, compiled by Bonnie Miller of Disability Advocates of Kent County
MiABLE Accounts allow people with disabilities to save for current and future expenses without jeopardizing eligibility for government benefits
Family Care Toolkit, created by the National Down Syndrome Congress as a place to compile important information for a new caregiver who steps in to care for a person with Down syndrome. Physical copies are available at the DSAWM office. Contact us at 616-956-3488 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
Transitions in the School System, compiled by Lizabeth Ensing of Forest Hills Transition Center
Ready For Life provides post-secondary educational experiences at Hope College and Calvin College for college-aged individuals diagnosed with cognitive, learning, or social disabilities.
University of Cincinnati Transition and Access Program provides a four-year college experience for individuals with mild to moderate intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Beyond26 helps adults with disabilities over 18 find job and volunteer opportunities in West Michigan.
Lakeshore Ride Link connects individuals with disabilities with transportation services in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, and Muskegon counties
Published by NDSS, the Aging and Down Syndrome: A Health & Well-Being Guidebook provides an overview of the medical and psychosocial needs that are unique to individuals with Down syndrome as they age. Physical copies are available at DSAWM. Please contact us at 616-956-3488 or email@example.com to request a copy. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Disease & Down Syndrome: A Practical Guidebook for Caregivers is a helpful publication available for digital download from the NDSS website.
DSAWM and the Alzheimer’s Association partner to host a monthly support group for parents and caregivers of individuals with Down syndrome over the age of 30. Aging with Down Syndrome participants share experiences and discuss the process of caring for loved ones growing older with Down syndrome. Visit the DSAWM calendar to find the next meeting.
For more information about the programs and services offered by the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan chapter, visit alz.org/gmc or call 800-272-3900.