Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Meet Robert Zitzmann

By Carola Zitzmann

Robert is mentally retarded, with brain damage, austistic tendencies, and needs supervision most of the time. He is non-verbal, needs assistance in dressing/undressing, bathing, shaving, teeth brushing, toileting, as listed all his daily living needs. He lives in a privately-operated Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Mental Retardation (ICF/MR). He lived with us at home until the age of 21 and has since lived at his present home, Trinity Missions Wide Horizons and is doing extremely well. We are so pleased with the program and services he receives. When he comes home with us, usually within two days, he does his sign to go back. There is just so much for him to do at his other home that he prefers to go back, which helps us realize we made a good choice.

He received medical care, when required, dental care every year, plus eye exams. He has gone camping, to the movies, to the store with help to purchase something he may like, goes on drives into the canyons, walks, and attends a work activity during the week. He rides a public bus with the group that attends the work activity center. He enjoys his TV and music. His second home has barbeques twice a year which includes all families.

The ICFs/MR in Utah are 98-99% occupied and are not allowed to build new buildings because of a moratorium on new Medicaid beds. This needs to be changed. The Federal Law, Olmstead and Medicaid Freedom of Choice, all require CHOICE.