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Gulf Bend home services has vacancies as new program is implemented

By JR Ortega
March 19, 2010 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated March 18, 2010 at 10:19 p.m.


ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR THE RESIDENCE PROGRAM?

Must be 22 years and older.

Have a determined mental disability.

Meet specific level of care criteria.

Are in need of active 24-hour treatment in a supervised setting.

Must also meet income or resource limit requirements of Social Security or Medicaid.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

For more information, please contact Gulf Bend Center at 361-575-0611 or visit www.gulfbend.org.

For more information on the specific program, ask for Martha Resendez, Intellectual Development Disability Community Service manager.

Space is now available at several of Gulf Bend's community-based homes.

In April, Gulf Bend's Intermediate Care Facilities Program, which has four, six-bed facilities, will have five vacancies because of a roll out of people being accepted into another, less restrictive program called the Home and Community Services program.

"It is important for families to prepare for the future," said Martha Resendez, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Community Service manager. "How is the individual going to be supported if something happens to them in the future? There is too much reliability on the family."

Some people have moved from the Intermediate Care Facilities program to the new program because the Home and Community Services program allows people to live in the communities and they can move anywhere in Texas with the services, Resendez said.

The Intermediate Care Facilities program gives people diagnosed with intellectual or developmental disabilities or related conditions a place with 24-hour supervision and coordination that fit their individual needs, Resendez said.

The community-based residence is another service Gulf Bend offers that the Crossroads area may not know about, said Don Polzin, executive director.

"We've got a responsibility," Polzin said. "We want the community to know, because people don't know how to access these services."

Polzin is keeping a close watch on both the federal and state level to see how health care reform and funding will be in the next couple of years.

"We see a tightening of the belt," he said. "We're going to have to learn how to operate under those constraints."

Despite what happens on a federal and state level, the need for these services will always be there, Polzin added.

"We have an aging society and I think that's going to become an increasing need," he said. "Our business isn't going to get any easier."

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