To the editor,
The June 15, 2017, Carver County News front page article “Elim officially closes early” reported a smooth and speedy closing of the Elim nursing facility in Watertown. The article did not even mention the difficulties that the residents of Elim Meadows had. These were the seniors renting apartments at Elim.
My mother-in-law had been renting at Elim for about three years, and I am writing this letter to tell of the terrible experience all the independent living seniors at Elim Meadows had at closing. These 70-, 80- and 90-year-old independent living seniors were given a 30 day notice to find a new place to live – no exceptions! These are seniors that have sold their homes and had settled into the apartments at Elim before having to move to an assisted living facility.
They had watched the services at the Meadows decline over the past years, but never imagined being thrown out of their apartments.
Watertown has no senior living apartments available. Residents desperately scrambled to find new places to live – we were told there was a three-year waiting list for the Carver County apartments in Waconia. Almost all of the seniors at the Meadows were from Watertown; and they all finally found places in towns like Howard Lake, New Germany, Maple Plain and Mound. One couple had to take a studio (no bedroom) in Waconia at over $4,000 a month just to comply with the 30-day eviction notice. Hardly an “exceptionally well and smooth” closing for these folks like Elim CEO Bob Dahl stated.
As far as I can tell, the name “Elim” (church affiliated?) is just that – a name of a business. At least that’s how the Meadow residents were treated.
I would like to thank the employees at Elim Care in Watertown for their years of service to the community doing the underpaid, underappreciated work of caring for our seniors. They made living together in the apartments at Elim worthwhile for the residents. The new Prairie River senior building being proposed in Watertown will provide great assisted living situations, but will not directly help Watertown seniors that wish to remain independent.