Plans to Close Assisted Living Facility in Brooklyn Leave Elderly Residents in Lurch

Elderly residents and caretakers at an assisted living facility in Brooklyn say they've been blindsided by plans announced Wednesday to shut down the center within 90 days. 

Residents at Prospect Park Residence were told at a meeting that they had to leave in the next three months. The management company said it has simply become too expensive to run the facility, especially after a $1 million tax hike this year. 

"It's beyond infuriating, and I feel violated as a consumer and as a caregiver to a family member who has memory issues who now I'm going to have to relocate in 90 days," said Renee Ortega, a niece of a resident at the facility. 

Ortega said she just signed a new one-year living arrangement for her aunt with dementia on Tuesday.

The management company said in a statement that it submitted a closure plan to the state Department of Health last week and that it was approved.

But Victor Zonana, a son of a resident at the facility, said the state should have sought public input.

"Without talking to residents, without seeking any public input -- if that's legal, the law needs to be changed," he said. 

Ruth Willig said, "This is such a terrible thing to happen. I'm in good shape. I can walk. But there are people who are not. I don't know what they're going to do. It's so terribly sad. It really is."

"I haven't the faintest idea what I'm gonna do," Bernard Jacoby. "I'm living alone. None of my family is here." 

"It's just so terrible for all of us," said Mary Berger. "How do you do this to people?"

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