HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – One family said they’re left finding a new home for their loved one after the Grayson Assisted Living facility in Lavalette closed it’s doors on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Erin Roby said she planned to move her mother into the facility this weekend.

“I was very shocked … and of course I wanted to cry because one I’m thinking of the residents and I’m thinking if my mother was in that situation,” Roby said. “But now I have to find something and of course we want the best for our parents who are going through something like Dementia or Alzheimer’s and we don’t just want to put them anywhere.”

One of the owners, Kevin Grayson, told 13 News his family planned to close both facilities, Grayson Assisted Living and Grayson Caring Hands and Loving Hearts, in December of 2022. However, he said staff shortages forced them to close the Grayson Assisted Living facility in Lavalette earlier than expected.

“Our plan was always to assist residents and families in finding a proper placement and making the transition as smooth as possible,” he said. “Unfortunately, late yesterday, we were notified by employees at our Lavalette location that the employees were walking off the job and forcing our doors to close prematurely.”

Grayson said their second location, Grayson Caring Hands and Loving Hearts, in Huntington is still open but will close in December as expected.

“The Huntington location remains adequately staffed and in operation and no residents from the Huntington location were sent out under the Emergency Evacuation Plan yesterday,” he said.

Grayson could not provide specifics on the reason for transports at the Huntington location on Wednesday, Sept. 21, other than that they were due to “finding placement at another location.”

Both employees and families were notified of the closure, according to Grayson.

In a letter to families, he wrote, “Therefore, I am notifying all families that Effective 10/21/2022, 30 days, Grayson Assisted Living and Grayson Caring Hands and Loving Hearts will no longer be in operations.”

The letter continues to say, “In an event, employees quit upon hearing this news, as I suspect they will, I have instructed staff to call 911 and send your loved one to the nearest hospital where they can assist in a placement through case management.”

A spokesperson with the DHHR says that Grayson and his wife did indeed notify OHFLAC on Sept. 19 that they intended to close the facility in December of 2022 and that the DHHR was notified on Wednesday that residents were being transferred to local hospitals due to staff not showing up for work.