Betty Gage currently lives in an Intermediate Care Facility for persons with Mental Retardation (ICF/MR) group home in Corsicana, Texas, but she wants her own apartment. Betty is 68 years old and has been on the Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) waiting lists for the past eight years. She has mild mental retardation and lives with five roommates.
For the majority of her life, Betty lived with friends in Arkansas and Texas. Her friends now live in Alaska, and she flies up to see them on a yearly basis.
Betty says she wants to be in the HCS program because “I want my own apartment and I want a different job.” She wants more space and privacy for her personal items. She also wants to be able to go to the store and shop on her own.
“I’m ready to go!” Betty reports. In keeping with her desire to move, Betty has storage bins full of items she has purchased for an apartment. She has decorative items, kitchen and bath items and at least half a dozen pillows.
Betty visits the administrator’s office at the group home almost every day and asks “When am I going to get the call?” Betty and the administrator call frequently to check the status of her place on the list. Betty’s current number for the HCS program is 414, down from 616 in 2006.
Betty was asked to think, “What if it took another five years before (your) name comes up on the list?” She replied, “It’s not going to work for me. I can’t wait five more years. I don’t want to.” She added, “When am I going to get HCS, when I die?”