JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- Some assisted living residents are set to return to an embattled home in Junction City which suffered an extended power outage in early October and has been the focus of a criminal investigation involving a caregiver.
Starting this week, 20 residents will return to Junction City Retirement and Assisted Living, weeks after 17 independent residents moved back in. State Senator James Manning represents Junction City in Salem and has been involved in the investigation of the facility since the initial investigation. He said he was caught off guard when he learned residents are returning.
"I didn't see it coming," Manning said. "I didn't get any report back from health and human services on this. So I will be following up with them. I'd like to know if some of the requirements that I was looking for are in place."
Manning said one of those requirements is having an evcuation plan for both the assisted living portion and the retirement home portion of the facility.
Regional Vice President Caitlin VanDerSchaff with Frontier Management, the company that oversees the home, said they have passed the state's assisted living standards and protocols.
According to VanDerSchaff, the home has brought in a new leadership team and caretaking staff, including a new executive director and third-party consultant to make sure they are meeting standards set by the Department of Human Services.
"For the past several weeks, our team has worked diligently with the Department of Human Services to ensure our assisted living residents return to a safe environment. Our new leadership team and staff look forward to welcoming assisted living residents back to the community, and providing them the high quality and dignified care that they deserve. The comfort, health and safety of our residents will continue to be our top priority," VanDerSchaff said.
The facility has also been in the news recently after now-former caregiver Noelle Jendraszek, 25, was arrested on tens of counts and released pending further investigation.
Police said she admitted to stealing jewelry and withholding medications from residents at multiple facilities over the past five years.