Families Reel from Pending Nursing Home Closure

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

Many family members are scrambling to find placement for their loved ones with Guardian Angel Health Care, which operates a nursing home in Marion, and is on the verge of closing. Its Medicaid contract will expire Nov. 1.

State health officials met with family members to help with the process. And they say they are only required by law to give a 15-day notice to the facility.
Some called that a ridiculously short length of time.

While state health officials were reluctant to discuss inspections results that included citations of alleged abuse, the bottom line is the clock is ticking for family members to find another place for their loved ones.

"My father's dead. It's my only relative and this put me in a real state of shock," said an upset Wayne McInnis, whose mother resides at Guardian Angel. "I didn't know anything about this facility closing until last night when I saw it on the news. I have not received anything, any mail, no paperwork, no calls."

Don McNair said Meridian nursing homes are full and he had to find placement in Jackson for his aunt.

"And then to be evacuated by November 1, which is only several days to find residency or to provide for your family or loved ones to come to your house, and that's just not enough time," said McNair.

McInnis said he was lucky to find placement for his mother locally.

"They had one bed left for an elderly lady and I got my mother signed in over there, so they're transferring her today," said McInnis.

Good for him, but not so good for others who may be on waiting lists, or just plan out of luck.

"I panicked," said Johnnie Delk, a concerned family member. "And I don't know right now where I am going to put my mom. I put in three applications, but I haven't got any response for any of them."

This is just the latest problem for the owner of the nursing home, Dr. Paulette Butler, with whom Newscenter 11 spoke Monday about the pending closure.

You may recall that, earlier this year, Butler was removed as administrator for Newton Regional Hospital after numerous complaints by employees about the job she was doing there.


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