With nursing facility set to close, dozens of residents scramble to find new homes
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lolesio Iosefo has been living at Wahiawa General Hospital’s long-term care facility for 10 years, after suffering a fall and debilitating neck injury.
Now the 64-year-old is trying to cope with saying goodbye to a staff that’s like family.
“Depressed. Uncomfortable. I try not to think about it,” said Iosefo. “The day that I heard the news, I heard some of the residents crying outside.”
The hospital’s Skilled Nursing, Long Term Care & Rehabilitation Center is closing, but many of its residents haven’t yet found permanent places.
About 60 residents lived in the facility, and 30 are still looking for new homes.
Glas Rivera is still looking for a home for her 86-year-old mother, Cristina Pablo.
“I was sad. I just wanted to cry. It was difficult just putting her here,” said Rivera.
Jomel Duldulao, Oahu long-term care ombudsman for the state’s Executive Office Office on Aging, said multiple agencies are trying to help with the relocations.
“Many of them don’t have families or friends,” said Duldulao.
“Just trying to be available for the residents and making sure they have some support especially during this time of need,” he added.
The small independent hospital said it had to close its nursing care facility after facing insufficient insurance reimbursements, financial hardship and rising care costs.
“This is very challenging and there are multiple elements to the challenge,” said Brian Cunningham, Wahiawa General Hospital CEO.
“We are now coordinating with multiple agencies, our ombudsman, all of our facilities on island, all the other skilled long-term care facilities,”
He says Oahu has enough beds, but the closest facility is in Pearl City.
Despite the uncertain future, Lolesio Iosefo is relying on faith to carry him to his next home.
“To tell you the truth, we are all helpless. With God’s help, it can strengthen us,” said Iosefo.
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