Charles Vanek, Executive Director of Maryhaven, featured on Long Island Business News [LIBN]

Chuck Vanek & Long Island Business News - NOW Experts Forum

Charles, (Chuck), Vanek, the Executive Director of Maryhaven, was given the opportunity to speak with Long Island Business News (LIBN): Experts Forum, "Planning for a Loved One with Special Needs".

At Kinexion, our organizations are led by experienced Executive Directors in the Human Services Field. Charles Vanek, who leads Maryhaven, has extensive knowledge and hands-on experiences in supporting people with developmental disabilities. For mo

re than 25 years, he has guided them & their families to appropriate programs and services so that they all may live their best lives, for life.

From disability planning, guardianships, and special need trusts to Medicaid planning, and even general support, there is so much to discuss and explore when making plans today, for tomorrow. This type of planning generally can bring in many pitfalls, that may affect your loved one with special needs, and even your family. Long Island Business News [LIBN] has invited three experts in this specific field to share their experiences and perspectives, and further guide those struggling with this type of unique family planning. This episode features Mary P. O'Reilly, co-chair of a Trust & Estates Practice Group at Meltzer Lippy Goldstein and Brightstone; Laura M. Brancato, partner of the Elder Law Litigation Practice Group at Meltzer Lippy; and Charles (Chuck) Vanek, Executive Director of Maryhaven. Joe Dowd, LIBN's editor and associate publisher, moderated the session.

Joe Dowd began the session with stating some statistics, and asking a general question to begin the discussion. Joe said, "1 in 5 New Yorkers, that is 3,000,000 people, reported having a disability, due to an impairment or health condition. Now the difficulty with this enormous figure, is exactly defining what constitutes a disability. In some definitions, disability means assistance with basic self-care issues. So, I want to open up with the idea of what portion of our population are we talking about? And, at what point do caregivers have to say, 'I need help.'?" Joe then directed the questions towards Chuck, and asked, "Can you give me an idea of how big this issue is, and how it effects Long Island?"

Chuck was eager to share his experiences and perspectives from this subject. Chuck started with, "As you know Joe, we deal primarily with people who have an intellectual disability, and the abundance of adults with disabilities is tremendous. There have been initiatives over the years, starting with Governor Pataki, to try and find appropriate residences and services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Recently, there has been a second initiative, in order to find adequate residential placement across the region, because the numbers are just astronomical. So, a provider like Maryhaven, who can provide a number of services including residential, day service, had become mounted families, who are experiencing a real strain in the home environment. You typically have two working parents, your hoping that your individual will attend some type of day service, and are occupied, while the parents are at work, but, the true work begins when they get home. And, we would like to get the message out to families that, there is an alternative. We now belong to a network of other providers called Kinexion, that truly provides a continuum of services, over one's lifespan. So, there isn't a service within our network that a family could not access for their loved one."

Throughout the video, Chuck speaks on previous experiences with Maryhaven resident's family members, who would not give the full details about asset distribution, which then Chuck explains how because of that, it led the individual to not receive their Medicaid benefits. After handling that situation, Chuck expresses how now, the Maryhaven staff will assist and explain everything to families of loved ones with special needs, and walk with them through every step of the way. 

Want to hear more? Check out Chuck in the LIBN|NOW EXPERTS FORUM: Planning for a Loved One with Special Needs video available on YouTube, or by clicking the video above.