I am writing this letter in response to the countless articles written by the Press to close or privatize John L. Montgomery. JLM is a long term care facility that takes care of Monmouth County's most vulnerable young citizens. There are 62 residents under the age of 59. Currently, our youngest resident is just 17 years old. I mention the age of our population because several of your articles have pointed out how many empty Medicaid beds are available in other private Monmouth County Nursing homes that our residents could easily be transferred to, should Freeholder Curley succeed in Closing, Selling, or Privatizing the John L. Montgomery Care Center. These "typical" other private nursing homes are perfectly fine for your average geriatric residents but are not suitable alternatives for residents of John L. Montgomery. Our residents are in their teens, twenties, and thirties - they are not your grandparents but they are your children... These residents are not looking to reflect on their lives but looking to live their lives to the fullest. That is what Monmouth County provides its citizens with at the 5 Star Rated John L. Montgomery Care Center.
I believe the Monmouth County Freeholders, and especially Freeholder Curley who is our Leader and Liaison, should take pride in the wonderful care they offer their most vulnerable Monmouth County Citizens. But instead, dedicated and passionate Care Center Employees and Family Members are berated at Freeholder Meetings and articles are written that destroy any chance of increasing our census, which would improve our fiscal situation. Ask yourselves why is a 5 Star Nursing Home struggling to fill beds? The answer is clear…
Can you imagine being a 17yr old living in a nursing home? I can assure you there are no other nearby Monmouth County Private facilities that can meet the needs and offer the services that we provide our young residents. We have a state of the art adapted computer lab, we assist our residents with pursuing higher education, and our residents edit and publish a monthly newsletter. They are very involved in community life- taking trips throughout NJ. These services are not offered or available in other local “typical” nursing homes because this population is unique and completely different!!!
The Taxpayers of Monmouth County and the Board of Chosen Freeholders should take pride in the fact that they take care of their most vulnerable citizens in the manner that they do! They should advertise this fact and not close or privatize John L. Montgomery. I completely understand the Care Centers are currently not making the County money and I am certainly not minimizing this fact. But in all reality - many, many other Monmouth County Departments do not make the County money either, right? Do the Parks and Library systems make Monmouth County money? When it only costs the average Monmouth County resident $2.00 to $4.00 a month (a cup of coffee) to fund the Care Centers and provide services to own citizens—Shouldn’t we do it? How can we, in good conscience, not? And why are we not yelling from the rafters…Hey, We Are Monmouth County and Not Only Do We Provide Our Taxpayers with the BEST Parks and Libraries BUT We Also Have a Heart and Provide for our Sick and Disabled Citizens A HOME like no other in the STATE!
Why are we calling our County Employees derogatory names at Freeholder Meetings? When we are only making suggestions on how to raise money and encourage Freeholders to explore other options in order to keep John L. Montgomery, as it is, a wonderful additional service to Monmouth County Taxpayers!!
I assure you that my co-workers and I have not stopped fighting for the residents, staff, and family that is the John L. Montgomery Care Center!
Jennifer Gregory, CTRS
Director of Therapeutic Recreation
John L. Montgomery Care Center