Thirty-plus women living with Alzheimer’s and dementia are in limbo after their nursing home was damaged in the recent North Texas tornado outbreak.
The patients were moved to another facility owned by the same company, but their stay may be short lived due to a bureaucratic issue.
Tina McMillian-Sweat’s mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. She and 42 other women, who also suffer from memory loss, were living in the Rowlett Health and Rehabilitation Center until an F-4 tornado forced them to flee from the facility.
“I worked so hard to get her in this facility cause it's your mother and I already have the guilt of having to do that,” McMillian-Sweat said.
Tina feels guilty that her 70-year-old mom may be moved again and again. Since the tornado, the women have been staying at Winters Park Assisted Living Facility in Garland. Both facilities are owned by the same company -- Senior Care Facilities -- but function under different state regulations.
In a statement issued to FOX4, CEO Mark McKenzie says in part:
"Staff from Senior Care Rowlett specifically trained to care for Alzheimer's patients accompanied the residents under their care to Winters Park to guarantee continuity and familiarity of caregivers in the new care setting."
But it's up to the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities, known as DADS, to determine if the women can stay put until the facility can be repaired. It’s a process that could take months.
A DADS spokeswomen says a final decision has not been made. Tina is worried another move could be too much for her mother to take.
“I want this time to be good for her. I want her to have more good days then bad,” McMililan-Sweat said.
A DADS spokeswoman said there are plenty of beds in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and that no one would be left without a bed or transferred outside of North Texas.