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Rose Manor assisted living home in Waynesboro to close

September 09, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Karl Black hopes to find his father a place to live locally so that, among other things, the family can save on long-distance calls.

Theodore Black, 69, calls Karl's 4-year-old son every night from his room at Rose Manor, where the former hardware store owner has lived for a year.

But on Friday, Theodore Black joined other residents in learning that the assisted living facility would be closing Oct. 5.

"It's pretty rough right now. We're just scrambling to find a suitable place that my father can afford," Karl Black said.

While the facility is licensed for 75 residents, it has 31 people in its 44 rooms, according to administrator Sandy Hockensmith.

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"For the past two years, we've been down," she said.

Owner Betty Reilly of Gaithersburg, Md., struggled with the decision to close, Hockensmith said.

"The owner feels really bad. She's elderly, and she worries about the elderly," she said.

Hockensmith blamed the closure primarily on the economy.

"Things were going up in price, and people can't afford it," she said.

Rose Manor opened in 1999 and employs 20 people, three of whom will be leaving this week. Hockensmith said that even with the Oct. 5 date decided upon, the facility cannot actually close until all the residents have moved.

She has been helping families with those decisions and said that Michaux Manor Living Center in South Mountain, Pa., has initially offered to take Rose Manor residents at Rose Manor's rates.

"This is more like a family home atmosphere," Hockensmith said.

"They tried to make everybody feel at home," Karl Black said.

Karl Black said his father's call Friday afternoon came before the certified letter from Rose Manor. He wishes that an announcement would have been made earlier to give more time for his search.

"I thought that was pretty irresponsible," said Karl Black, who lives in Cascade.

The Black family chose Rose Manor because another relative was already having a good experience there.

"Rose Manor was the perfect place. He made real friends," Karl Black said.

Now, he worries about disruptions to his father's daily routine.

"When this came up, that shattered his whole world," Karl Black said.

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