Institutionalized care for those with mental retardation and other disabilities is often criticized, as isolationist and bureaucratic. Some say ending institutionalized care is similar to ending Jim Crow era segregation laws. They’re pushing for integrated, community care. Others say there needs to be a choice, and that the standard of institutionalized care can be raised. What purpose does institutional care serve? How has it failed in the past? How much would community care cost taxpayers? Are we headed towards a de-institutionalized state?
Phyllis Lorelli and Tom Bryant
In 1992, Jerry and Phyllis Lorelli were living in Bradenton. Through a series of unexpected circumstances, Phyllis was reconnected here in Florida with a childhood friend from Pennsylvania. The story picks up in the year 2000, with Phyllis telling friend Tom Bryant about the regular visits she and her husband Jerry had with friend Judith Viner and Judith’s husband Ed.