Families hope for best for parents at Geriatric Authority of Holyoke

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – On Monday, Geriatric Authority of Holyoke residents and their families plan to meet with staff at 6PM to discuss the process of closing the facility.

22News spoke with families visiting loved ones there on Sunday.

After waiting for years to get her grandfather a bed at Geriatric Authority of Holyoke, Melissa Burnat can’t believe they now have to move him out.

“When we first came here, it was hard, you know, ‘why aren’t we going home? Why aren’t we going home?’ and getting him to realize this was his home was a battle and to have to go through that again, I think it’s going to be a struggle,” feared Burnat, who was visiting with her father, husband and two sons.

It’s a struggle for her grandfather with dementia and her whole family. Burnat said she found out the Geriatric Authority was closing through 22News. She called her dad, but he didn’t officially find out until Sunday when he went to visit his father in his 90’s.

Families visiting parents and grandparents said they were told they have 60 days to find another home for their loved ones. They said at this point, they have no idea where to even start looking and wish the GAH would at least give them a list of open beds at places. That’s what residents with supportive families are struggling with. Others aren’t as fortunate.

“Some of these older people that living in these nursing homes now…don’t even have living family members so who are you going to put that decision on to move these people or find another place for them to live?,” Paul Cantin of Chicopee told 22News.

“I definitely wouldn’t want my family to go through something like that…If they have people they can depend on, or who can’t help them, they’ll do just fine,” hoped Ryan McCarthy of Southwick.

Families aren’t so sure. The State Department of Public Health requires the GAH to meet with each resident to discuss the moving process. However, families fear their loved ones won’t survive that difficult transition to another home.

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