Published April 20, 2006
With the growing demand for many of their frail elderly residents to receive a more technical level of care, coupled with the fact that resources are not available for those types of services, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has decided to close its two personal care homes: St. Teresa Manor in Riverdale and St. Thomas Manor in East Point. The official closing date will be June 30.
Since 1988, the Archdiocese has operated the Catholic personal care homes, which were opened to provide assisted living services to seniors in the community. These two homes, with a small capacity of 15 rooms each, were never designed to provide the technical level of skilled care and other services that many of their residents are now beginning to require. The archdiocese had neither planned to fund for these services nor does it have the necessary license to provide them to their residents.
“We have had to face a very difficult situation with people we love and care for deeply,” said Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory. “Caring for the elderly at St. Teresa Manor and at St. Thomas Manor has been part of the fabric of this archdiocese since the late 1980s. Many have come through the doors of each residence, tender care has been shown, and lasting friendships have been formed.”
“It saddens me to have to convey this to you,” the archbishop expressed to residents and their families in a personal letter, “as I know these residences are not merely rooms, but homes for people who have strong ties to each other. Being uprooted is never easy and is a delicate process, particularly for the elderly.”
To ensure a smooth transition and because any relocation of the manors’ elderly residents will cause concern both to them and their families, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has made arrangements with Wesley Woods Towers to accept any of the residents who qualify for residency in their retirement community on a space-available basis. Wesley Woods Towers is located at the Wesley Woods Center of Emory University campus. Also, Senior Connections, an organization that provides older adults with personal care services in their homes, can provide these services to those residents who move to Wesley Woods Towers.
For those who relocate to Wesley Woods Towers, the archdiocese will provide some financial assistance until Dec. 31. Those residents who do not relocate to Wesley Woods Towers but find suitable accommodations in other independent living or assisted living facilities will also be given financial assistance from the archdiocese until Dec. 31.