Sweetbriar director recalls evacuation of assisted living facility

The idea of evacuating the facility was daunting, especially when helping people suffering from dementia, the director said.

Posted: Sep 25, 2020 11:54 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – As the Holiday Farm Fire drew close to Springfield two weeks ago, assisted living facility Sweetbriar Villa evacuated residents.

Director Ivy Lizsow said she had to trust her gut and made the call. The idea of evacuating the facility was daunting, especially when helping people suffering from dementia, she said.

But after lunch on Sept. 9, residents and employees loaded up and headed to their sister facility in Salem where a bed and dinner was already waiting.

“We went up there because we were just trying not to think of ourselves in that moment,” said caregiver Kayla Lease. “They needed us there. They didn’t have anybody to provide their meals or provide their care, so that’s what we needed to do in that moment, so we went. We are trying to be their family when family isn’t able to be around during this time, and they needed us there.

The residents returned to the Springfield location on Sept. 14.

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