Former TCHC resident’s family talks about facility shutdown

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Kansas First News sat down with the family of a former TCHC resident who lived at the facility.

The family says they’re shocked to learn what the state says was happening when their loved one was there…..and says they know who to blame.

84-year-old Marie Simons has dementia and Alzheimers.

She lived at the Topeka Community Healthcare Center for three and a half years.

Then last week – her family got a letter Marie’s home, was closing.

“Sunday I opened it up, and I’m going…what? What the? And there it was, I was telling my kids, I said ‘I thought your grandma was using that dementia,’ but that wasn’t it. They were for real closing this nursing home,” Betty Hunt said.

Marie’s stepdaughter, Betty Hunt….says reading the state’s deficiency reports…was shocking.

“And then when I went online, I found a lot more on there. There is no way that nursing home should have been open as long as it was. No way,” Hunt said.

“And did you ever see in the 3.5 years, any health and safety issues with your stepmother being there?”

” No, because we always checked on her. Sometimes, you would smell feces and urine smell because, like I said, I used to work in nursing homes so, I know the smell of…but it wasn’t all the time,” Hunt said.

Hunt says she puts the responsibility on those who were in charge.

“I’m not blaming staff, I’m blaming administrative,” Hunt said.

Hunt says the move across town was stressful on her step mom.

“It was hard for her because she was crying too. And she’s losing people that she made friends with in three and a half years and now you have to come here and start all over. And the way her mentality is now – I’m not sure how long it’s going to take to adjust for her.”

…and she is now worried about Marie feeling comfortable in a place….that doesn’t feel like home, yet.

“I feel so bad cause I was going, I just feel like I failed her. Not for the whole three years, but here lately because if I had known all that – I would never have put her there in the first place. Not ever,” Hunt said.

Marie has been moved to a new facility in Topeka.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says TCHC has 60 days…or until September 12th to find other accommodations for its residents.

To read TCHC’s deficiency reports from the state, click here.

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