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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Young Alabamian Forced to Live in Nursing Facility

Some needs of Alabamians with disabilities unmet by state-funded programs
By The Associated Press
April 18, 2010, 7:31AM
Written by Michelle Rupe Eubanks -- The Times Daily in Florence

FLORENCE -- Haylee Cain doesn't belong where she lives.

At 21, she's a spirited and vivacious Crimson Tide fan, thinks wrestler John Cena is the best thing ever, and loves logging on to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace to catch up with friends.

But because she has cerebral palsy, Haylee lives in a nursing home.

The state of Alabama offers little or no services for people like Haylee, those with potentially debilitating physical ailments who are over the age of 21 and with an IQ of more than 70. One reason for the dearth in care, according to state and local officials, is that there is no money available to support an organization that would provide around-the-clock care or organized day programs.

"It's an issue we talk about. What happens when someone turns 21?" said Kerry Boswell, executive director for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services in Montgomery.

He offers little hope the situation will change in the near future.

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