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A Caregiver’s Dilemma, What if I Outlive my Child who has Disabilities

Thank you to Tina Calabro for this important article pointing out the gaping holes in the safety net intended to support people with disabilities.

The Next Page: A caregiver’s dilemma

In the deaths of Richard Liposchok and his son, Mickey, Tina Calabro sees lessons to learn in how society views the disabled

On Dec. 17,¬†Richard Liposchok, the sole caregiver of his 52-year-old son, Mickey, took his son’s life and then his own with a rifle in their Port Vue home.


The tragedy stunned the close-knit community of 3,800, where the Liposchok family was well known and liked. The elder Liposchok, a 78-year-old retired steelworker known as “Lippy,” had been a pillar of the borough’s volunteer fire department for decades. His wife, Gail, a one-time crossing guard who had died a year earlier, was admired for her pleasant nature and devotion to the couple’s only son.


Like many parents of the early 1960s — an era that preceded widespread advocacy for disability rights, services and access to community life — the Liposchoks assumed complete responsibility for the upbringing of their son, who had an intellectual disability. It appears that the family never requested support from the Allegheny County Office of Intellectual Disability, even as services such as day programs, vocational training, community residences and professional coordination of family support became available through the years.

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