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St. Barnabas to close Kearny's assisted living unit

Thursday, December 20, 2007

By ROSE DUGER

JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT

KEARNY - When Kathryn Webers moved into the assisted living unit at the Clara Maass Continuing Care Center, she thought she'd live the rest of her days comfortably at the Belgrove Drive facility.

"When I came here, I thought it would be forever," said the long time Kearny resident.

"Forever" has turned out to be just a little more than three years. Last week the St. Barnabas Health Care System, which runs the facility, delivered an unwelcome Christmas present to Webers and the unit's 21 other residents: oral eviction notices.

In a hastily arranged meeting after a nurse accidentally mentioned the upcoming closure of the assisted living unit, residents say an administrator who runs the unit told them they must vacate by Jan. 31.

The system had originally planned to hold off delivering the bad news until after the holidays, several residents say staff members told them. At press time, residents and their families had still received no notice in writing.

But in a written statement a spokesperson for the system confirmed that St. Barnabas intends to convert the space into a sub-acute unit, which serves short-term patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital.

"After a thorough evaluation of the needs of the community, and with the appropriate state approval, the assisted living component of Clara Maass Continuing Care Center at Kearny is being transitioned to a sub-acute facility to respond to local needs," the statement from spokesperson Lisa Tortorello said. "As always the St. Barnabas Health Care System will work closely with tenants and families to ensure a smooth transition while maintaining its focus on providing exceptional health care."

The assisted living unit has space for 30 residents in private and semi-private rooms residents furnish themselves. They receive meals in a communal dining area and transportation for outside medical care. Residents say they pay somewhere around $4,000 a month for assisted living, about half the price of the facility's nursing home unit.

"We all know everyone here," said lifelong Kearny resident John Paterson.

A member of the Kearny High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Paterson still travels to the school stadium to help out with the football team when he's able. "We're all a group here. It would be nice if all of us could go to the same place."

Paterson and others are angry at the short notice they have received to leave the place they now call home.

"The main thing that bothers us is how much time was given," said one resident, who asked not to be named. "Why not give us more notice about what was going to happen? They've known about it for months."

"The issue here is not that it's closing," agreed the resident's daughter, who also asked not to be named. "The issue is that we haven't been given enough notice. We were told straight out that they weren't making enough money on this floor and that they need to get people in and out (with sub-acute care)."

St. Barnabas filed its application with the state to close the unit in early September, according to Kearny health officers and elected officials who have received complaints from residents and their families.

"The timing and short notice shocks me," said Mayor Al Santos. "It's shocking that a week and a half before Christmas these residents were told they have to relocate. We're still fact finding to try to find out what's going on."

Dorothy Douglas of Kearny moved into the facility just seven months ago. "It's a big shock for me and my family," said Douglas, who remains active with her Kearny church. "They (her family) did all they could to get me in. I don't know what I'll do now."

Family members are scrambling to find space for their loved ones in other assisted living facilities, but there are no similar units in the West Hudson area. After St. Barnabas representatives offered to hire a bus for residents to visit a West Orange facility Larry McKeown, whose father is a resident, said he discovered the unit has just two openings.

"Suppose in 30 days I can't find a place for my father?" said McKeown, of Kearny. "I'm beginning to wonder about the St. Barnabas organization, which is supposed to be non-profit. The people who need to answer up for this are the trustees and the people who make the decisions."

"Assisted living is hard because there aren't many around," said another family member who asked not to be named.

Meanwhile, residents worry about severing their ties with Kearny and wonder what neighbors who have no family to look out for them will do.

Mabel Reese said she will probably end up in a facility near Sparta, where her son lives. Her name is on the waiting list at six facilities, but she needs a place that can provide dialysis nearby.

Reese sold her home more than a year ago to move to the unit after spending time in the facility's rehabilitation center.

"They talked me into selling my house and coming here," she said of Clara Maass staffers. "Now my house is gone and so is my money."

For Webers, the experience has soured her on the St. Barnabas system, despite the good care she has received at the assisted living unit. "I wouldn't use St. Barnabas again," she said firmly. "That's just the way I feel."

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Guest Lifelong Kearny Resident
St. Barnabas to close Kearny's assisted living unit

Thursday, December 20, 2007

By ROSE DUGER

JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT

KEARNY - When Kathryn Webers moved into the assisted living unit at the Clara Maass Continuing Care Center, she thought she'd live the rest of her days comfortably at the Belgrove Drive facility.

"When I came here, I thought it would be forever," said the long time Kearny resident.

"Forever" has turned out to be just a little more than three years. Last week the St. Barnabas Health Care System, which runs the facility, delivered an unwelcome Christmas present to Webers and the unit's 21 other residents: oral eviction notices.

In a hastily arranged meeting after a nurse accidentally mentioned the upcoming closure of the assisted living unit, residents say an administrator who runs the unit told them they must vacate by Jan. 31.

The system had originally planned to hold off delivering the bad news until after the holidays, several residents say staff members told them. At press time, residents and their families had still received no notice in writing.

But in a written statement a spokesperson for the system confirmed that St. Barnabas intends to convert the space into a sub-acute unit, which serves short-term patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital.

"After a thorough evaluation of the needs of the community, and with the appropriate state approval, the assisted living component of Clara Maass Continuing Care Center at Kearny is being transitioned to a sub-acute facility to respond to local needs," the statement from spokesperson Lisa Tortorello said. "As always the St. Barnabas Health Care System will work closely with tenants and families to ensure a smooth transition while maintaining its focus on providing exceptional health care."

The assisted living unit has space for 30 residents in private and semi-private rooms residents furnish themselves. They receive meals in a communal dining area and transportation for outside medical care. Residents say they pay somewhere around $4,000 a month for assisted living, about half the price of the facility's nursing home unit.

"We all know everyone here," said lifelong Kearny resident John Paterson.

A member of the Kearny High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Paterson still travels to the school stadium to help out with the football team when he's able. "We're all a group here. It would be nice if all of us could go to the same place."

Paterson and others are angry at the short notice they have received to leave the place they now call home.

"The main thing that bothers us is how much time was given," said one resident, who asked not to be named. "Why not give us more notice about what was going to happen? They've known about it for months."

"The issue here is not that it's closing," agreed the resident's daughter, who also asked not to be named. "The issue is that we haven't been given enough notice. We were told straight out that they weren't making enough money on this floor and that they need to get people in and out (with sub-acute care)."

St. Barnabas filed its application with the state to close the unit in early September, according to Kearny health officers and elected officials who have received complaints from residents and their families.

"The timing and short notice shocks me," said Mayor Al Santos. "It's shocking that a week and a half before Christmas these residents were told they have to relocate. We're still fact finding to try to find out what's going on."

Dorothy Douglas of Kearny moved into the facility just seven months ago. "It's a big shock for me and my family," said Douglas, who remains active with her Kearny church. "They (her family) did all they could to get me in. I don't know what I'll do now."

Family members are scrambling to find space for their loved ones in other assisted living facilities, but there are no similar units in the West Hudson area. After St. Barnabas representatives offered to hire a bus for residents to visit a West Orange facility Larry McKeown, whose father is a resident, said he discovered the unit has just two openings.

"Suppose in 30 days I can't find a place for my father?" said McKeown, of Kearny. "I'm beginning to wonder about the St. Barnabas organization, which is supposed to be non-profit. The people who need to answer up for this are the trustees and the people who make the decisions."

"Assisted living is hard because there aren't many around," said another family member who asked not to be named.

Meanwhile, residents worry about severing their ties with Kearny and wonder what neighbors who have no family to look out for them will do.

Mabel Reese said she will probably end up in a facility near Sparta, where her son lives. Her name is on the waiting list at six facilities, but she needs a place that can provide dialysis nearby.

Reese sold her home more than a year ago to move to the unit after spending time in the facility's rehabilitation center.

"They talked me into selling my house and coming here," she said of Clara Maass staffers. "Now my house is gone and so is my money."

For Webers, the experience has soured her on the St. Barnabas system, despite the good care she has received at the assisted living unit. "I wouldn't use St. Barnabas again," she said firmly. "That's just the way I feel."

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Having a parent in the same situation, it is extremely unfair that the St. Barnabas Hospital or as they refer to themselves as the St. Barnabas Health Care System did not make any considerations for these people. When a person gives up his or her home to become a member of an Assisted Living Community, someone should look after these people and make arrangements to have them transferred to another Assisted Living facility or given an option of at least one or more facilities.

All these people were given was a pamphlet from the Livingston Assisted facility and that is all. St. Barnabas dropped the ball just like they did when they took over West Hudson Hospital. If they had managed that hospital better there would not be a need to transfer these assisted living people to make room for additional acute care.

Most, if not all, of the people who are this assisted living facility are lifelong people in Kearny. Someone should step in before finding these people on the street. Just think to yourself as you grow older, this could have been you.

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Guest Guest_QUEST_*
St. Barnabas to close Kearny's assisted living unit

Thursday, December 20, 2007

By ROSE DUGER

JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT

KEARNY - When Kathryn Webers moved into the assisted living unit at the Clara Maass Continuing Care Center, she thought she'd live the rest of her days comfortably at the Belgrove Drive facility.

"When I came here, I thought it would be forever," said the long time Kearny resident.

"Forever" has turned out to be just a little more than three years. Last week the St. Barnabas Health Care System, which runs the facility, delivered an unwelcome Christmas present to Webers and the unit's 21 other residents: oral eviction notices.

In a hastily arranged meeting after a nurse accidentally mentioned the upcoming closure of the assisted living unit, residents say an administrator who runs the unit told them they must vacate by Jan. 31.

The system had originally planned to hold off delivering the bad news until after the holidays, several residents say staff members told them. At press time, residents and their families had still received no notice in writing.

But in a written statement a spokesperson for the system confirmed that St. Barnabas intends to convert the space into a sub-acute unit, which serves short-term patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital.

"After a thorough evaluation of the needs of the community, and with the appropriate state approval, the assisted living component of Clara Maass Continuing Care Center at Kearny is being transitioned to a sub-acute facility to respond to local needs," the statement from spokesperson Lisa Tortorello said. "As always the St. Barnabas Health Care System will work closely with tenants and families to ensure a smooth transition while maintaining its focus on providing exceptional health care."

The assisted living unit has space for 30 residents in private and semi-private rooms residents furnish themselves. They receive meals in a communal dining area and transportation for outside medical care. Residents say they pay somewhere around $4,000 a month for assisted living, about half the price of the facility's nursing home unit.

"We all know everyone here," said lifelong Kearny resident John Paterson.

A member of the Kearny High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Paterson still travels to the school stadium to help out with the football team when he's able. "We're all a group here. It would be nice if all of us could go to the same place."

Paterson and others are angry at the short notice they have received to leave the place they now call home.

"The main thing that bothers us is how much time was given," said one resident, who asked not to be named. "Why not give us more notice about what was going to happen? They've known about it for months."

"The issue here is not that it's closing," agreed the resident's daughter, who also asked not to be named. "The issue is that we haven't been given enough notice. We were told straight out that they weren't making enough money on this floor and that they need to get people in and out (with sub-acute care)."

St. Barnabas filed its application with the state to close the unit in early September, according to Kearny health officers and elected officials who have received complaints from residents and their families.

"The timing and short notice shocks me," said Mayor Al Santos. "It's shocking that a week and a half before Christmas these residents were told they have to relocate. We're still fact finding to try to find out what's going on."

Dorothy Douglas of Kearny moved into the facility just seven months ago. "It's a big shock for me and my family," said Douglas, who remains active with her Kearny church. "They (her family) did all they could to get me in. I don't know what I'll do now."

Family members are scrambling to find space for their loved ones in other assisted living facilities, but there are no similar units in the West Hudson area. After St. Barnabas representatives offered to hire a bus for residents to visit a West Orange facility Larry McKeown, whose father is a resident, said he discovered the unit has just two openings.

"Suppose in 30 days I can't find a place for my father?" said McKeown, of Kearny. "I'm beginning to wonder about the St. Barnabas organization, which is supposed to be non-profit. The people who need to answer up for this are the trustees and the people who make the decisions."

"Assisted living is hard because there aren't many around," said another family member who asked not to be named.

Meanwhile, residents worry about severing their ties with Kearny and wonder what neighbors who have no family to look out for them will do.

Mabel Reese said she will probably end up in a facility near Sparta, where her son lives. Her name is on the waiting list at six facilities, but she needs a place that can provide dialysis nearby.

Reese sold her home more than a year ago to move to the unit after spending time in the facility's rehabilitation center.

"They talked me into selling my house and coming here," she said of Clara Maass staffers. "Now my house is gone and so is my money."

For Webers, the experience has soured her on the St. Barnabas system, despite the good care she has received at the assisted living unit. "I wouldn't use St. Barnabas again," she said firmly. "That's just the way I feel."

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IT;S TIME FOR THE RESIDENTS OF KEARNY TO WAKE UP.STOP USING ST. BARNABAS HOSPITAL FACILITY;S .THEY CLOSED WEST HUDSON HOSPITAL.THEY DON,T CARE ABOUT US.RESIDENTS OF KEARNY ,HARRISON SHOULD HOLD A PROTEST AT THE ST , BARNABAS FACILITY ON BELLGROVE DRIVE.SUPPORT OUR SENIOR CITIZENS WHO ARE BEING THROWN TO THE STREET.MAYBE THEY SHOULD LOOSE THE WORD CARE FROM THEIR ORGANIZATION, BECAUSE WE KNOW THEY REALLY DON;T CARE!!!!!!

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St. Barnabas to close Kearny's assisted living unit

Thursday, December 20, 2007

By ROSE DUGER

JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT

KEARNY - When Kathryn Webers moved into the assisted living unit at the Clara Maass Continuing Care Center, she thought she'd live the rest of her days comfortably at the Belgrove Drive facility.

"When I came here, I thought it would be forever," said the long time Kearny resident.

"Forever" has turned out to be just a little more than three years. Last week the St. Barnabas Health Care System, which runs the facility, delivered an unwelcome Christmas present to Webers and the unit's 21 other residents: oral eviction notices.

In a hastily arranged meeting after a nurse accidentally mentioned the upcoming closure of the assisted living unit, residents say an administrator who runs the unit told them they must vacate by Jan. 31.

The system had originally planned to hold off delivering the bad news until after the holidays, several residents say staff members told them. At press time, residents and their families had still received no notice in writing.

But in a written statement a spokesperson for the system confirmed that St. Barnabas intends to convert the space into a sub-acute unit, which serves short-term patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital.

"After a thorough evaluation of the needs of the community, and with the appropriate state approval, the assisted living component of Clara Maass Continuing Care Center at Kearny is being transitioned to a sub-acute facility to respond to local needs," the statement from spokesperson Lisa Tortorello said. "As always the St. Barnabas Health Care System will work closely with tenants and families to ensure a smooth transition while maintaining its focus on providing exceptional health care."

The assisted living unit has space for 30 residents in private and semi-private rooms residents furnish themselves. They receive meals in a communal dining area and transportation for outside medical care. Residents say they pay somewhere around $4,000 a month for assisted living, about half the price of the facility's nursing home unit.

"We all know everyone here," said lifelong Kearny resident John Paterson.

A member of the Kearny High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Paterson still travels to the school stadium to help out with the football team when he's able. "We're all a group here. It would be nice if all of us could go to the same place."

Paterson and others are angry at the short notice they have received to leave the place they now call home.

"The main thing that bothers us is how much time was given," said one resident, who asked not to be named. "Why not give us more notice about what was going to happen? They've known about it for months."

"The issue here is not that it's closing," agreed the resident's daughter, who also asked not to be named. "The issue is that we haven't been given enough notice. We were told straight out that they weren't making enough money on this floor and that they need to get people in and out (with sub-acute care)."

St. Barnabas filed its application with the state to close the unit in early September, according to Kearny health officers and elected officials who have received complaints from residents and their families.

"The timing and short notice shocks me," said Mayor Al Santos. "It's shocking that a week and a half before Christmas these residents were told they have to relocate. We're still fact finding to try to find out what's going on."

Dorothy Douglas of Kearny moved into the facility just seven months ago. "It's a big shock for me and my family," said Douglas, who remains active with her Kearny church. "They (her family) did all they could to get me in. I don't know what I'll do now."

Family members are scrambling to find space for their loved ones in other assisted living facilities, but there are no similar units in the West Hudson area. After St. Barnabas representatives offered to hire a bus for residents to visit a West Orange facility Larry McKeown, whose father is a resident, said he discovered the unit has just two openings.

"Suppose in 30 days I can't find a place for my father?" said McKeown, of Kearny. "I'm beginning to wonder about the St. Barnabas organization, which is supposed to be non-profit. The people who need to answer up for this are the trustees and the people who make the decisions."

"Assisted living is hard because there aren't many around," said another family member who asked not to be named.

Meanwhile, residents worry about severing their ties with Kearny and wonder what neighbors who have no family to look out for them will do.

Mabel Reese said she will probably end up in a facility near Sparta, where her son lives. Her name is on the waiting list at six facilities, but she needs a place that can provide dialysis nearby.

Reese sold her home more than a year ago to move to the unit after spending time in the facility's rehabilitation center.

"They talked me into selling my house and coming here," she said of Clara Maass staffers. "Now my house is gone and so is my money."

For Webers, the experience has soured her on the St. Barnabas system, despite the good care she has received at the assisted living unit. "I wouldn't use St. Barnabas again," she said firmly. "That's just the way I feel."

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When are people going to learn St. Barnabas and Clara Maass {same people} have screwed patients over and over and still getting away with it.They should be sued and boycotted by the whole community They will continue to do this until they can be put out of business. NON PROFIT MY FOOT!!!!!!!!!!!
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When are people going to learn St. Barnabas and Clara Maass {same people} have screwed patients over and over and still getting away with it.They should be sued and boycotted by the whole community They will continue to do this until they can be put out of business. NON PROFIT MY FOOT!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anyone that has ever known a senior citizen knows that after a certain point, moving a person is not an option. As far as I know the 30 or so folks that will be displaced are all local residents, which means they spent a majority of their life in the area and now the closest place to move them to is Livingston??!?!? How will these uprooted folks handle this abrupt change?

I understand the money factor and the fact that there is more money in acute care, but why didn't St Barnabas gracefully transition to full acute care and let the current residents live their days out surounded by things they are familiar with while not taking in any new applicants?

As far as I have heard none of the current residents nor their families have been given more than a verbal communication about this move and a bus ride. How pitiful is it that as a renter I can not pay my rent and it would take 6 months to a year to have me removed, but these folks have gotten no notification and have less than 6 weeks to find a place to live? Apartments are a dime a dozen if you have the money, but it can take up to 2 years on a wait list before a slot in an assisted living facility opens up.

Is what St Barnabas is doing even legal?

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HOW exactly is the Mayor and Council supposed to dictate practices to a Private Business???? Heck the M&C cant even Control the Bloody Ambulance who ostensibly WORK for them, even though they are technically NOT a "Town" service anymore, being outside contractors..yet Using Municipal vehicles and Buildings..go figure.

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Guest Follow the money trail
When are people going to learn St. Barnabas and Clara Maass {same people} have screwed patients over and over and still getting away with it.They should be sued and boycotted by the whole community They will continue to do this until they can be put out of business. NON PROFIT MY FOOT!!!!!!!!!!!

79803[/snapback]

It's all about the money with St. Barnabus. For acute care they can receive between 6,000 to 8,000 per resident per month, while in the assisted living prices ranged from 3,500 to 4,500 per month. And they can double up the beds in the acute care as well. Bottom line is nothing will be done and just don't get sick.

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I heard that most of the residents are going to West Hudson. There is enough room for them there.

80023[/snapback]

You really heard incorrectly there is no assisted living arrangements at West Hudson and the acute care is overflowing. It is bad management.

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HOW exactly is the Mayor and Council supposed to dictate practices to a Private Business????  Heck the M&C cant even Control the Bloody Ambulance who ostensibly WORK for them, even though they are technically NOT a "Town" service anymore, being outside contractors..yet Using Municipal vehicles and Buildings..go figure.

79905[/snapback]

How about just knowing what's going on in their community for a start.

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You really heard incorrectly there is no assisted living arrangements at West Hudson and the acute care is overflowing. It is bad management.

80284[/snapback]

I heard that they are going to open another floor that right now is empty. Sorry but I'm just saying what I heard.

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Any idea of the current residents have all found a place to live? Or are am i going to just drive by on January 31st and see the residents standing outside with their possessions? Is St Barnabas covering the differences in cost if the new place is more expensive?

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Guest Kearny Resident
Any idea of the current residents have all found a place to live?  Or are am i going to just drive by on January 31st and see the residents standing outside with their possessions? Is St Barnabas covering the differences in cost if the new place is more expensive?

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There are still some residents who have not found different residence. I doubt that you will find those people standing out there on Jan 31. These people are from a different generation where they were too proud to ask for handouts.

Just an update to that, St. Barnabas has extended the date that people can stay until the end of February. What they don't want you to know that in all these other Assisted Living places they require a one time community or maintenance fee ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 dollars. St. Barnabus is not reimbursing for those people who are being displaced to other areas. And in just about all cases the cost of these places are more expensive. It is easier to changeover to a different type of service for St. Barnabas that the require a monthly increase of $1,200 to $1,500 per month. They are going to get that and more by going to sub-acute care.

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