Harbor View, a senior citizens apartment building on the 9500 block of State Road, will close within the next few months.
Early this month, the more than 70 elderly persons who live in the six-story building were given 30-days notice the building will close, said Barbara Sorrentino, the chief operating officer of DePaul Health, Harbor View’s owner-operator.
However, she said in a July 12 phone interview, the notice merely is a legal obligation. The moral obligation is to get the building’s residents settled in new homes, she said.
“We won’t close the doors until each resident has moved,” she said. That, she hopes, will be by September.
DePaul Health has another adjacent facility, the nursing home Rivers Edge, and also owns others, Sorrentino said. The company is not in any financial difficulty, she said, adding the decision to close Harbor View was based on the building’s configuration and the average age of the residents.
Harbor View dates to 1985, she said, and it was built for residents who might move in while they are in their 70s. People are staying in their homes longer now, Sorrentino said. Some move in with family. Now, Harbor View residents have an average age in the mid-80s, she said, and the building is too large for that age group, she said.
“We can’t serve that population in that building any longer,” she said. “The halls are long. It’s just not manageable.”
Currently, 42 of the residents live in “personal care,” which means they get assistance going about their daily lives — medication, diet management and bathing. Some even get help getting dressed. A little more than 30 live in Harbor View independently, Sorrentino said. They get meals, too, she said.
About half of the residents have made plans already, she said. Some are going to other DePaul facilities like Harmony Place on the Roosevelt Boulevard, Sorrentino said.
She said Harbor View managers met with families and made recommendations. On July 10, the company brought in operators of 15 other senior citizen residential facilities so they could all be there in one place to give Harbor View residents information about what they offer.
“They didn’t have to go searching,” she said of her residents. “They could ask their questions all in one place.”
Sorrentino said Harbor View got other residences to waive any entrance fees. The homes that are taking Harbor View residents also are helping with moving expenses, she said.
“We know this isn’t an easy thing,” Sorrentio said.
DePaul is going to keep the building, she said. No plans have been made for its use except that it will not be used for health care or as a senior citizen residence. ••