The Aging Out Crisis
Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center is the largest, most proficient, non-profit health center in America for children with severe medical complexity. Our mission is to give these children the chance to learn, live, thrive and safely become adults. We do this by providing the entire range of what they need: state-of-the-art medical care, education, rehabilitation, social activities, deeply inclusive partnerships with their families and a true sense of dignity and love. There is no place in the United States with the size, success and approach like ours. We have proudly been recognized as a pioneer in helping these underserved children. Yet urgent needs remain.
The children we serve need help with the most basic daily functions. Their medical conditions are chronic, complicated and extremely limiting on their lives. Most of them are unable to walk and many depend on technology in order to be able to eat, breathe or communicate. Their conditions include genetic disorders, traumatic injuries and childhood diseases. They have extraordinary needs, but also tremendous determination, spirit and the will to experience the fullness of life.
Our children’s center serves 169 children from infancy to young adulthood. We are blessed to live in a time in which modern advances in medical care allow more of our kids to thrive past their childhood and teenage years than ever before. However, pediatric placement ends at age 21. For most, aging out means transferring to a geriatric nursing home that is unsuited to provide the medical and emotional care that our young adults need and deserve.
Since 2012, 30 percent of young adults who left our care have died in just over a year. And right now, approximately 50 children will age out by 2024. In New York State alone, there are an estimated 5,500 children with high-need medical complexity under the age of 21 enrolled in New York State Medicaid. The problem is only growing. Uninterrupted, specialized care for these young adults is essential. Geriatric nursing homes are not equipped to help these young people, especially now given the tragic outcomes during COVID-19. Our young adults need a safe home of their own to continue experiencing life with their family and friends.
Elizabeth Seton Children’s is urgently raising money to build the first home of its kind for young adults with medical complexity. This will be a national model. It will give these young people the support they need to survive and thrive – a home with life-sustaining technology, specialty clinics, interactive living environments, spaces for music, art, family time and outdoor exploration.
For those who want to have an impact on a child’s life and create a future filled with hope and possibilities, this is the place to give. To help us achieve a vision of building a young adult program, please consider making a donation here. If you are interested in naming opportunities, please write Brian Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have any questions?
Please contact us at 1 (833) 63-SETON