Woman Recalls Emotional Toll of Nursing Home Move - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Woman Recalls Emotional Toll of Nursing Home Move

Updated: Nov 20, 2013 12:36 AM

Alternatives for the Older Adult in East Moline, Il said Tuesday that within a week, 66 residents were moved from the Forest Hill nursing home in East Moline, Il. without any notice.

Alternatives for the Older Adult CEO Kathy Weiman also told us some of those residents were sent up to 45 minutes away to receive care - where family members say visiting them every day may no longer be an option.

A Davenport woman who recently went through a similar ordeal shared her story with KWQC on Tuesday night. 

Mindy Richards said her grandmother's forced move from a different area facility has taken an enormous emotional toll on her family. 

Richards said her 76-year-old grandmother with Alzheimer's was at a nursing home in the Quad Cities for about 15 months. Then about one month ago, she said her family got word that the facility would no longer offer care for her grandmother. 

Richards said the facility wanted her grandmother moved to facility about an hour away within just a few days of giving out the notice. That's when Richards said she got in touch with an advocate service for seniors that was able to help the family out and find a facility that would best fit the family's needs. 

But after discovering long waiting lists at all facilities that could care for her grandmother in the immediate Quad Cities area, Richards said she and her grandfather were forced to place her grandmother in the care of a nursing home about 55 minutes away.

"My grandfather can't see her every day or stay late with her anymore," Richards said. "He used to eat at least one meal a day with her. Every day. So not only did it crush him, - now when he goes she doesn't even know who she is."

Richards said the experience has been hard on the couple who has been married for 58 years.

"All they know is each other," Richards said. "It's horrible to watch. Just horrible to watch. Watching her decline was hard enough then watching what he has to go through, too, to not even be able to see her - I mean, it's something you never think you're going to have to experience."

And for the families of the 66 residents displaced from their home at Forest Hill this past week - Richards said her heart goes out to them all.

Alternatives for the Older Adult CEO Kathy Weiman says she's been working with all the families involved, ensuring they're taken care of.

Weiman said the state of Illinois is now working to turn the situation around - trying to move some of those residents closer to home.

Weiman also said many nursing homes in Illinois are struggling financially because Medicaid reimbursements don't make up enough money to cover the cost of care in many cases. But she said homes can still have many Medicaid residents and still provide great care.

"There are some wonderful, stellar nursing homes in the area," Weiman said of her experience visiting homes in the ten Illinois counties her organization covers.  "And there are ones that are less than stellar," she said.

According to Medicare.Gov, the average overall rating for nursing homes in the Quad Cities comes in at about a 2.8 out of five stars. The same website ranked Forest Hill with a rating of one star overall.

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