Fear lingers at Choctaw adult day care amid state budget battle
Some of those most at risk of losing their livelihoods in this state budget debate are those with developmental disabilities.
These are folks who often rely on adult day centers to help them through each day. These centers provide are activities that provide individuals, like Betsey Morton, with social and daily living needs they wouldn't otherwise receive at home.
"I like it here with everybody,” said Morton. We go on outings. Everywhere. We go bowling, play games in there, do exercise. We do that all together."
This togetherness is what Morton says she will miss the most.
She, along with dozens of others, received a letter dated November 1st warning them that unless the state legislature acts to restore funding for the Medicaid ADvantage Waiver program before December 1st, the service will be axed entirely.
Vicki Wood is the director at the Eastern Oklahoma County (EOC) Adult Day Center.
"We're telling them we received the letters just as they did,” said Wood. “And we have to let the legislators know how important it is that this program stays open."
Without it, Morton and many of her friends at EOC will have no other option but to move into nursing homes, which wood says they can't afford and neither can the state. At this point, Wood urges lawmakers to dig deep and avoid a short term fix.
"We need to look at long-term,” Wood said. “Because I don't know truthfully if we can all go through this again in 6 months. It's been hard on our hearts. It's been hard on our families."
But it's been the hardest on the program's participants
"I want them to help us out, because we need it,” Morton said.