Asset Management Model for Housing and Services

When exploring options for housing and services for adults with Down syndrome, it’s important to look at all available resources. One model that reflects these resources is the asset management model, which identifies five points of support for the individual with a disability:

The person with the disability: Self-determination is an important component of the decision-making process when it’s time to explore living arrangements or services for the adult with Down syndrome. The individual may have personal assets that include:

Nurses working with adults with Down syndrome have naturally assessed some of the individual’s personal assets, particularly the person’s skills in self-care and other areas. Depending on the nurse’s role, it may be appropriate to gather financial information in order to determine the person’s possible eligibility for government programs.


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The adult’s assets include income as well as skills.
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The person’s family: Parents, siblings, and other family members may be closely involved in the lifestyle of the adult with Down syndrome. Family assets that may be available to the individual with Down syndrome include:

When doing a nursing assessment of the adult with disabilities, the nurse will invariably gather some information about family services, skills, and supports. In order to assist in the decision-making about community integration, the nurse may need to ask even more information of the family. By demonstrating sensitivity to the family’s need for privacy and stating the purpose of the information-gathering, the nurse can make this process less intrusive.


The state disability service agency and its providers: Adults with Down syndrome qualify for a variety of services from state disability agencies, the type and amount of these services vary significantly from state to state. Some core assets that are often provided by state agencies include:

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State disability agencies must provide the services guaranteed by federal law, so these services are essentially the same from one state to the next.
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Nurses who are closely involved in the life planning process for an adult with Down syndrome need a fairly detailed understanding of state resources. Nurses in other settings should have at least a basic grasp of these options for individuals with disabilities.

Other government agencies: Many other government programs may offer services appropriate for the adult with Down syndrome, including:


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Adults with Down syndrome may qualify for a variety of government benefits.
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When working with an adult with disabilities, nurses have various levels of involvement when it comes to government benefits and agencies. When in doubt, it’s important to do further research so the individual receives all benefits to which he or she is entitled.

Local community support: When exploring options for adults with Down syndrome, it’s important to include resources in the community, including:

Nurses working with adults with Down syndrome may find a wealth of community resources by contacting volunteer clearinghouses, or coordinating agencies.


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Because there are so many public benefits for adults with Down syndrome, they seldom need community support.
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