‘In the middle of a pandemic?’: Family questions timing of eviction notice for 78-year-old woman

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GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — In addition to being an essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, Judy Blow says she’s also worried about her mom.

The 78-year-old has several pre-existing medical conditions.

“Type 2 diabetic, she has high blood pressure, she also suffers from emphysema, and she’s also in stage 4 kidney failure,” Blow told 8News.

The Goochland woman says she moved her mom, Ursula, to Virginia two years ago from Washington State. Right now, she’s living independently at Discovery Village At The West End in Henrico.

Blow said her mother’s health has been getting worse and she can’t live alone anymore, even though her current lease goes until the fall. She told 8News she’s brought in caregivers while they look for an assisted living facility as her next step.

“I’ve noticed since about January, mom’s health has started declining,” said Blow.

Then on March 20, Blow told 8News she received a shocking text from the executive director at Discovery Village. She learned the facility had sent her mother a 30-days notice to vacate.

“Disbelief, then I was angry,” Blow said. “I was very angry because my first thought is how can you take a 78-year-old woman who’d got all the high risk symptoms of coronavirus and literally just kick her out?”

Blow and her husband are unsure what will happen in the next few weeks leading up to that 30-day deadline.

“If she gets the virus she is dead,” Blow told 8News. “No way around it.”

But this family says moving a senior citizen under current conditions is not the answer.

“If this was for her safety, which is what everybody keeps saying, ‘oh we need to move her for her safety,’ why would you do it in the middle of a pandemic?” Blow said.

8News made multiple attempts to get in touch with management at Discovery Village for an interview. Discovery Senior Living refused 8News’ interview requests and sent the following statement instead:

As you know, this community is an independent living community. When we see a resident’s condition declining where he/she can no longer live safely with or without a reasonable accommodation, the resident is asked to move to a safer living accommodation. That is the case here. Due to resident privacy issues, I cannot provide specific information. However, please know that we have significant concerns about the resident’s safety and safety of others (documented incidents).

We have suggested an appropriate level of care that is most suitable. Unfortunately, our sister community does not have a memory care accommodation available and we suggested a different provider.

Please know that the community continues to take appropriate measures in response to Covid-19. We even suggested that we will drive the resident to the facility. She would not have exposure to Covid-19.

We have initiated enhanced protocols and are in compliance with state directives.

There are no Covid-19 issues with the recommendations we made to the family. We have been judicious in our approach and recommendations.”

Mitch Richman, Discovery Senior Living Midwest and Midatlantic Regional Director of Operations

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