For adults with intellectual disabilities, COVID-19 poses many challenges

shared courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania- Michael Swainson, 47, is a very independent adult. He also is a client of a program that helps people with intellectual disabilities manage for themselves as much as possible in the homes and communities of their choice.

Swainson rents his own apartment and works at a Philadelphia store five days a week, either walking the 22 minutes it takes to get there or taking a rideshare. He has a girlfriend, and is a sports fanatic: “If I can, I’m never home. I go to Phillies games. I go to Eagles games. I go to Flyers games. I’m a big sports person. It’s better to be there at the games in person,” said Swainson.

When COVID-19 hit, and Swainson was furloughed and had to follow stay-at-home orders, he became depressed and worried about his finances — as did millions of Americans. But for him and other adults with intellectual disabilities, the pandemic came with an additional layer of complexity, because they need extra assistance with issues far less challenging than this.

“I got upset, and I couldn’t do anything about it,” Swainson said.