Advocates told abandoned residents of Hauula care home could be left at ER

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Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 4:39 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 19, 2021 at 4:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In April, Hawaii News Now saw the rush to move out 60 assisted living residents after the state Health Department revoked the license and ordered the shut down of Dignity Senior Living at Oceanside Hawaii.

This came after complaints of caregiver neglect and confirmation of dozens of deficiencies.

The expanded care home side of the facility remained licensed, open and home to 20 residents, but last week, the facility notified the state that the state and families it was voluntarily shutting down due to “economic hardship.”

The residents must scramble to find homes before the Sept. 11 shutdown.

Jomel Duldulao, Oahu Long-Term Care Ombudsman, visited staff and residents last week.

“The administrator basically said if the residents are still at the facility as of 9-11, he would ask the family members to pick them up or he would drop them off at the ER,” said Duldulao.

“Very frustrating, very upsetting,” he added.

Duldulao says many of the remaining residents have dementia and severe health issues.

“I know with the hospitals having major COVID surges, hospitals are at full capacity. They’re not going to take any of these residents,” he said.

Gary Powell is the executive director of The Caregiver Foundation and is the guardian for one of the residents. He’s searching for housing, but says Oceanside has few options.

“They are looking for safe environments so you are basically looking at a police station, fire station or an ER,” said Powell.

“If they are stable, they’ll be released to the street,” he added.

Other advocates say help and case managers are desperately needed.

“This needs to be an orderly transition. These residents do not have the capabilities of finding a place on their own,” said John McDermott, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

“That’s not the way you treat our kupuna,” he added.

The Health Department told HNN its licensing staff is monitoring the situation.

HNN contacted Oceanside for comment and did not hear back.

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