Residents of a DeKalb County assisted living facility ordered shut-down have all found new places to live, after the state gave residents 48 hours Tuesday afternoon to evacuate.
For now, White House in Fort Payne will remain closed, but it was learned Thursday new owners have taken over and efforts are underway to reopen the facility.
The last resident left the White House facility around 3 p.m. Thursday, the deadline set by the state. Approximately a half-dozen residents had to be relocated after the state found serious concerns (PDF) with the facility, including medical, documentation and other issues.
The state began investigating back in January and had worked out an agreement, but after new issues were found, the state decided to temporarily pull its license. It now has a new administrator designee who anticipates the new owners will be working hard to get the license back.
"They have to go through the building code, through Montgomery," said Sherry Morgan. "They have to go through the state licensure board and health department."
Morgan said they will quickly begin the process of making the renovations and code changes necessary to put the place into compliance. A target date for reopening has not been announced.
For the families who had to move loved ones, the situation was difficult, but able to be accomplished. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that different kinds of assisted living facilities provide greater care.
Wills Creek Village is just down the road from White House. The difference between the closed facility and Wills Creek, according to Janet Owen, is they are an ALF (Assisted Living Facility), while White House was a Special Care ALF, and was providing greater care.
That means that when a SCALF closes, it's harder to relocate residents because of the fewer numbers of special care facilities.
Owen said relocating requires a medical plan from a doctor before you can be accepted to another facility. She also advised that families do their homework before bringing their loved one to any facility. She said it can be as simple as dropping by and talking to people in-person.
You should also periodically check with the state to check the facility your loved one is in. You can call the Alabama Department of Public Health at 1-866-855-1913.