One out of every five residents in Colorado nursing homes wants out, an analysis of state and federal records shows.

But a shortage of places for the disabled to live outside a nursing home and regulations that critics say make it hard to qualify for home services mean many who want out continue to receive expensive nursing care.

"Long-term care in general is costing the state more and more each year, just as more people need long-term care services and the cost of care continues to increase," said Tim Cortez, who was hired by the state in June to reform long-term care with the goals of serving more people and saving money.

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court said people who can live independently have that right. But Colorado doesn't have the resources or infrastructure to assist all the people who want out.

Many are people like Cliff Seigneur.

Seigneur was an assistant state attorney general, but his multiple sclerosis eventually made it impossible for him to work. He wound up in a Denver nursing home at age 48.

"I don't want to be brought out of this place in a body bag," Seigneur said.