ANDERSON – After being open for 17 years, Community Long Term Care is closing Monticello House, an Anderson assisted-living facility for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The closing follows a change in the rules for the Medicaid waiver providers. Under the new rules, Monticello House would have to keep its doors unlocked as an assisted-living facility, which it cannot do for the safety of the patients with Alzheimer’s.
The closure will affect 17 residents and 25 employees, and Community Long Term Care is trying to find places for each resident and employee to transition. Beth Harpe, executive director of Community Long Term Care, said they are trying to relocate the residents and employees they can to one of the other long-term care facilities locally: Community Northview Care Center in Anderson, Summit Convalescent Center in Summitville and Community Parkview Health and Living in Elwood.
“We looked at every option we could to try to keep Monticello House open,” Harpe said. “I don’t always get to have those one-on-one conversations with family and staff, but the common theme was how special Monticello House was and how unique it was.”
In order to stay open, Monticello House would have to transition into a comprehensive care provider, which would require a lot of structural changes in the building.
“We would have had to do structural changes that were pretty significant,” she said. “It would have cost more than what they bought the facility for back in 1999.”
Aside from non-locking doors to enter and exit the building, some of the required changes included creating hallways, widening doorways and modifying bathrooms.
Harpe said much of the appeal of the original structure was the wide open common room upon entering the facility where patients would visit. Some of the patients would walk around the large open room for much of the day without being interrupted by hallways, wondering where to go next in their disoriented state.
“It just makes it easier for them to go about normal day,” Harpe said. “When you have long hallways and things, they can get lost in that and get stuck at the end of the hallways.”
Monticello House is expected to be completely closed by Oct. 1.