Woman, 87, evicted from nursing home

June 15, 2010 4:41:19 AM PDT
An 87-year-old resident of a south suburban assisted living facility claims she was unfairly and forcibly evicted from her home.It is the second time the facility has taken action to remove her from the residence.

Grace Miller, or Mother Grace as her friends call her, says she just wants to go home. The 87-year-old says she moved from Nebraska into the Dorchester Senior Center as a part of what she believes to be her spiritual ministry.

Miller admits she is outspoken and says the trouble started after other residents began to join her in complaining about the facility and how it is run.

A sofa in a relative's family room is where Grace Miller sleeps now ever since Miller, who served in the military during World War II, says police forcibly removed her from her unit at an assisted living community because of what she calls a vendetta against her by the facility's manager.

"They literally cuffed my feet and cuffed my hands and lifted me out of my chair, and I want you to know, before they cuffed by hands, I took a swing at one of them. I think I slapped one of them pretty good," Miller said.

The June 7th incident happened at Dorchester Senior Center, which is a supportive living center in south suburban Dolton. It is managed by the daughter of town's mayor, whose name is Angelic Lewis.

Miller received a non-voluntary removal in March but appealed it and was allowed to stay.

Residents say the senior-- who must use a wheelchair-- was ordered by Lewis to be handcuffed and restrained after she, once again, complained about the food served at the facility.

"I think it was personal because she said something she had no business saying, I believe," said Dorchester resident Donald Moore.

Witnesses claim Lewis then had officers take Miller to a Hammond, Ind., hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Neighbor Eli Boone visited Miller, whom doctors allowed to leave the following day.

"And he told me personally, whoever sent her here needs to come and see me themselves," Boone said.

When Miller, a diabetic, returned to the Dorchester, she says she discovered the locks to her apartment door had been changed and that she had been evicted by the management company hired by the village to run the facility.

While Angelic Lewis and the village declined to comment, the Dorchester's administrator released a statement that read: "Grace Miller is a resident of the Dorchester. In an effort to respect her privacy, we decline comment. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is aware of the situation and is overseeing her discharge from the facility."

"It seems like they just didn't have no compassion or just didn't care," said Brandie Boone, Miller's granddaughter.

The retired school teacher-- who is also an ordained minister-- wants to go back to her home of two years and vows to fight to continue to do God's work.

"Until He removes me from the Dorchester, I will stay and minister just as He has given me ministry," Miller said.

Several residents claim the Dorchester has been cited for violations by the Illinois Department of Public Aid more than a half-dozen times since January.

A spokesperson from the agency would not confirm that. However, that same spokesperson says that there has been no formal investigation into the south suburban senior facility, but there will be now.


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