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Nursing home bars return of some residents

La Salle County Nursing Home staff cheer the return of residents last week. A few won't be allowed back because of changed circumstances, an official said.
La Salle County Nursing Home staff cheer the return of residents last week. A few won't be allowed back because of changed circumstances, an official said.

The La Salle County Nursing Home continues to bring back its residents after reopening last week.

But the home's administrator acknowledged Wednesday a few won't be allowed back.

In an interview, Chris Csernus said he couldn't talk about specific residents because of federal medical privacy rules. In some cases, he said, if a person's condition or behavioral pattern changes, the nursing home may not be in a position to admit the resident.

"Something may have occurred while a person was away that causes us not to take them back," Csernus said.

The nursing home evacuated residents to other area homes Feb. 28 after a tornado damaged the building.

In an interview, Wendy Norris, of Austin, Texas, said she learned last week her brother would be barred from moving back to the county home. She was under the impression her brother would be transferred back once the county home's renovation was done. But she said that arrangement was never written down.

Norris said her brother, 51, who has Down syndrome and autism, thrived at the county home. A move to yet another facility, she said, would have an impact on him, saying he doesn't adjust well to change.

"I was on a conference call with the (La Salle County Nursing Home). They said they can't meet his needs there, but he requires little," she said.

Norris said she was told the county home could not accept her brother, because it wasn't licensed to take care of residents with developmental disabilities. She said he wasn't listed as developmentally disabled before the Feb. 28 tornado. He was at the nursing home because dementia was setting in, she said.

Norris isn't sure what she'll do next. She said her brother may have to go to a nursing home near her in Austin.

Meanwhile, Csernus expects more than 20 residents to be moved back into the county home, which is west of Ottawa and Naplate on Dee Bennett Road.

The nursing home had 70 residents when it was evacuated. Of them, about 40 to 45 are expected to return. Twenty-one died since the evacuation.

The nursing home's capacity is 91. Based on recent inquiries. Csernus expects the resident number to increase. Unlike other homes, he said, the county facility places no limit on the number of residents on public aid.

"All of our beds are certified for Medicare and Medicaid," Csernus said.

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