“Include them in life”: Essonne will create 545 reception places for people with disabilities

“Include them in life”: Essonne will create 545 reception places for people with disabilities

In the entrance hall of the Val Mandé Institute in Draveil (Essonne), which accommodates 40 disabled adults over 45, an elderly woman comes to visit her son. “He’s fine here, I’m happy,” she smiles, running a hand through his hair. Not all families are so lucky. France is still lagging behind in the care of disabled people.

“In Essonne, between 800 and 1,000 reception places are missing, notes Marie-Claire Chambaret (SE), vice-president of the departmental council in charge of autonomy. We have 400 Essonnians who are hosted in Belgium, including about forty children. A distance from families that she wishes to remedy.

Recruitment crisis in the medico-social professions

When adopting the departmental plan for autonomy 2023-2027, the departmental council set itself the objective of opening 545 reception places for people with disabilities by 2026. 145 have already been completed. These are essentially places for disabled adults suffering from mental disorders and autism.

“These creations are a great thing. Ile-de-France is very badly off, but there is a real awareness in Essonne”, rejoices Olivier Bergis, president of the departmental association. of relatives and friends of people with mental disabilities (Adapei 91), whose establishments accommodate 230 people. But to create these places, you need staff. However, “there is a recruitment crisis in the medico-social professions, notes the president of Adapei 91. These are poorly paid, unrecognized professions. We have twelve positions that are not filled. »

Another difficulty, delays, since projects launched seven years ago have barely come to fruition. “It’s too long, laments Marie-Claire Chambaret. There are specifications for the various partners, then examinations in committee, appeals, construction deadlines… It’s an obstacle course. »

“In France, disability is scary”

The multiple appeals of local residents annoy the elected official: “Even today, in France, disability is scary. We don’t want it near home. In Belgium, the structures are integrated in the center of the villages, there is a real acceptance. Here, you have to go with the forceps. »

And yet, these disabled people need to be close to town centres. Many of them are independent and can go out, go shopping, have a coffee, go to the cinema… “They bring life to the villages, make the shops live”, insists Marie-Claire Chambaret.

This is the case for some of the residents of the Val Mandé Institute, which opened its doors in 2022. The residents suffer from stabilized mental or psychiatric disorders. Some of them can go out alone or accompanied. “I do my own shopping,” explains Florence, showing her around her room.

“They go out, we take them to the restaurant in the evening, in Paris, confirms Patricia Sacchi, the service manager. Some can take the bus alone because they have been taught. We work to include them in life, so that they are as independent as possible. »

An influx of requests

Proof of the need to open new places, the Val Mandé exceptionally welcomes a 35-year-old man. “He spent more than half his life in hospital because he never found an establishment,” explains Hervé Pigale, the general manager. The institute also welcomes a couple: “They have been together for 30 years, but have always been in separate rooms. Here we have two bedrooms for couples “, continues the director.

Investment demand is strong. “We have a whole generation where families kept them, without asking for help, details the departmental adviser. But now parents become too old and dependent themselves, or die, and can no longer look after their elderly children. For them, it’s heartbreaking, they feel very guilty. We are therefore facing an influx of requests due to this social phenomenon and a lack of political will for years. At Val Mandé, a third of residents are accommodated due to the aging of their parents.

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