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Former Arc residents adjusting to new homes

Updated: January 19, 2014 6:16AM



It’s been more than two months since 90 disabled residents of The Arc of Northwest Indiana’s 22 supervised living group homes were forced to move due to health and safety issues, but many are making a smooth transition at other group homes or in the process of making other arrangements.

Though state officials tried to re-house The Arc residents locally, the quick turnaround meant most residents were transported to Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and other areas of the state on Oct. 4. Officials from The Arc said the problems stemmed from a failure to provide adequate nursing services at the homes, resulting in falls, bed sores, medication mistakes and other problems.

“It was always intended to be temporary, but some are making the move permanent,” said Marni Lemons, spokeswoman for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. “Of the 50 that moved to Fort Wayne, 20 are staying and 30 are moving back to Northwest Indiana, mostly in waiver home settings.”

The homes house no more than four residents, free to decide how they want to spend their days, Lemons said. Previously, residents of The Arc homes would have scheduled programming to attend.

Gary resident Louise Anderson said her 27-year-old grandson Brady is still at an Indianapolis group home, but she has been touring other Northwest Indiana homes, hoping to find one he can move to that will be closer to her and his mother.

“I haven’t been able to see him since he left in October,” Anderson said. “But we talk almost every day and he likes it down there. We’ve visited other facilities, but they haven’t really been up to par. But we’re going to surprise him with a visit this month.”

Donna Elbrecht, president and CEO of Easter Seals Arc of Northeast Indiana, said the state is working with individual families about finding them the best housing solution.

Elbrecht said there haven’t been any significant issues.

“Overall, they’ve really done well,” Elbrecht said. “A lot of them stayed together, and some lived together for 30 or 40 years. So it helps when roommates stayed together and saw familiar faces, even as they were making new friends.”



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