Vernon County Residents Protest Closing Of Baroness Alzheimer’s Care Center

NEVADA, Mo. — Vernon County Residents gather at a packed Nevada City Council Meeting tonight (8/16). The City Council is holding an open session starting tonight at 7:00 p.m.

Residents are upset because Alzheimer’s patients living at “Barone Care Center” received a letter on August 9th from Gene Vestal, the Interim CEO of Barone Care Center.

That letter was a proposed transfer plan for moving Barone’s residents to “Moore-Few Care Center,” effective October 31st.

Many of those who have gathered at tonight’s meeting have plans to protest the proposed closure of Barone Care Center and the plan to move the residents afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Loved ones of residents argue that Moore-Few Care Center is not capable of taking care of Alzheimer’s patients, saying it does not hold the appropriate license and can’t handle the physical needs of those living with Alzheimer’s.

LIVE ON LOCATION: Kate Dalton explains tonight’s meeting, LIVE at Nevada’s City Hall

At tonight’s meeting, loved ones of residents living at Barone Care Center are planning to call for the firing of Interim CEO, Gene Vestal.

City leader’s we’ve talked to say they’re also against closing the facility.

We’ll start to update what happens in tonight’s meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. and ending at 9:00 p.m. (8/16).

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7:20 p.m. – Alzheimer’s advocate, Jennifer Gundy, was the first to speak to the Council about this issue. At the end of her statement, Gundy called for the firing of the Interim CEO of Barone Care Center, Gene Vestal. Grundy also stated that it “can be deadly to move Alzheimer’s patients to a new facility.”

7:30 p.m. – The Mayor of Nevada, George Knox, stated that Gene Vestal has not discussed any plans to close Barone Care Center with city leaders.

7:40 p.m. – The fourth person to speak at the podium has a mother who lives at Barone Care Center. She had the following to say: “These Alzheimer patients are going to die if you move them to another facility. It’s horrible to watch your loved one’s mind go deeper and deeper into the disease, but to add on top of that the confusion that it would put on their minds… I know that if I told my mother who lives at Barone, that she has to move, I know she would die… I also call for the resignation of Gene Vestal immediately.” (Applause from most all of those watching in the Council Chambers)

7:45 p.m. – Pam Grainley, who was next up at the podium, said this: “Barone Care Center runs like a fine oiled machine. They set a daily schedule for those with Dementia. That helps with planning and having an overall feeling of safety. While my mom was alive and living at Barone, she was so happy there. My mother was comfortable, happy and knew that Barone was home. Those who worked there while my mom was alive, cared for her like she was a person. Each time I visited her, there wasn’t a time when she wasn’t being cared for by a staff member. This is home to my mom. This is home to our loved ones so please don’t take it away from them. Ill leave you with this, imagine you have a family member that has cancer. You’ve spent countless hours finding the best care for your loved one. Now imagine that care being taken from you. All the care your loved one received – gone. Suddenly, someone who doesn’t know anything about your loved one is now in charge, because money was being mishandled. This is what’s facing those who live at Barone.”


Vernon County Residents Protest Closing Barone Alzheimer's Care Clinic

Reporter Notes: Barone Care Center currently has 33 residents, all who suffer from the disease of Alzheimer’s, living at the facility.

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8:00 p.m. – Marvin Query was next up to speak. He had this to say: “I heard an interesting fact today. The plan to move residents from Barone Care Center to Moore-Few Care Center, did not mention the destination for transfer as Moore-Few Care Center. I would really like to know why.” He later said to the Council, “please ask the community to be involved in these decisions and to be engaged with the City.”


Reporter Notes: Every audience seat is fill tonight, inside the Nevada City Council Chambers. Each speaker is suppose to speak for only 3-4 minutes, although the Council is letting each speaker go over 5 minutes, in order to get the speaker’s point across.

Reporter Notes: Tonight on Action 12 News at 10:00, Kate Dalton will have a LIVE report from Nevada City Hall to summarize what went on inside the Nevada City Council Chambers tonight. Digital News Reporter, Dustin Lattimer is also at tonight’s meeting and will post a summary of what took place there. You can now find that website article, HERE.

| Residents Upset Over Possible Closing Of Alzheimer’s Facility >


8:20 p.m. – Maurine Short, a former long-term care facility administrator, was next up to the podium. She said she was asked to speak at tonight’s Council Meeting. Maurine Short, knowing a lot about Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, summarized what it’s like as a patient with progressive Alzheimer’s disease. She described the decline of the brain, like the reverse progression of physical aging. Short said that as an Alzheimer’s patient progresses in the disease, they’re becoming “more like an infant child.” Toward the end of her time, Short said that at Barone, the staff is “well trained” in caring for Alzheimer’s patient. Short stated that you “have to know how to approach someone with Alzheimer’s and it takes special people with a special skill set to be able to do that job. Short stated that, “Moving the patients from Barone Care Center to Moore-Few Care Center, makes financial sense. But, the staff, leadership and the hospital has to do everything they can to duplicate the care, the approach and the feeling of security and safety that those people at Barone feel. Every staff member at Moore-Few Care Center has got to be trained to specifically handle those with Alzheimer’s. There has to be a specific Alzheimer’s wing where residents with Alzheimer’s are locked in.”

8:40 p.m. – A Vernon County Resident, who only said that her name was Cindy, had this to say: “There are a group of us who have been meeting to come up with some solution. Here’s what we came up with… we want Barone to have its own Board; a Board of people who actually know what they’re doing when it comes to special memory care, because this board doesn’t (audience applause).”

8:45 p.m. – End of public comments.

8:47 p.m. – Mayor proposed two motions. One of them was, “an immediate dismissal of Mr. Vestal.”


Reporter Notes: This concludes the LIVE BLOG. You’ll find a summary of tonight’s special session of the Nevada City Council Meeting posted HERE.