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DHS ADvantage Waiver members receive notification of program elimination

(KOKH)

Concern has turned into sheer panic after the Department of Human Services mailed a letter this week to members of the ADvantage Waiver program warning them that without state funding, the program would be eliminated.

"It says, 'We regret to inform you that DHS must eliminate the ADvantage Waiver effective December 1, 2017,’” said Andre Dewberry, whose 68-year-old mother is an ADvantage member.

It's the notification he and numerous other Oklahomans hoped would never come.

"This is something that needs to be addressed and taken care of right now,” Dewberry urged. “Because, you know, it's going to hurt thousands of people."

Dewberry's mother has Alzheimer's. She spends the weekdays at WovenLife's adult day health center. Without access to the ADvantage Waiver, Dewberry says her days at WovenLife will be over.

"It's going to impact me from all sides. And I know there's a lot of other family members and families that are going to go through the same thing I'm going through,” Dewberry told FOX 25.

Suzanne and Hayden Ryles are one of those families. Like Dewberry's mother, Hayden also participates in WovenLife's adult day program. He is also at risk of losing funding.

"It's really upsetting because it almost makes him too dependent on me. When he's here (at WovenLife) he's got a group. You know, he's got a place to belong. He's got kind of his own life,” said Suzanne, who is Hayden mother and sole caretaker.

She doesn't want to see his freedom taken away from him by the very people she as a taxpayer compensates to run the state.

"It may be theoretical to them, but it's every day to me,” Suzanne said. “I hope that, you know, they can come to some kind of solution."

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