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'They Don't Care': Families Confused, In Pain After Delaware County Hospice Unit Announces Sudden Closure

RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) -- The closing of a Delaware County hospice unit is causing pain and confusion for families whose terminally ill loved ones now have to be moved.

Eighty-seven-year-old May Doherty was set to spend the remainder of her days in the hospice unit at Taylor Hospital. Her family says she doesn't have long.

The sharp-witted and fun mom, grandmother and great mother originally from South Philly and more recently Collingdale has been declining steadily for years due to her Alzheimer's.

Her family shared these photos from happier times and the videos that show how she's doing today.

"Why do you work all these years to save and have something for when you are in this stage of life and then it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter. They don't care," Maureen Tribuiani, May's daughter, said.

Tribuiani, says last week, they were stunned when the hospital on Chester Pike in Ridley Park informed them the hospice unit was closing and May would have to move out.

"We're all like very upset. Even the workers are like, 'I can't believe this is happening. This just doesn't seem right.' And the fact that my mom has only been there for two weeks, I'm sure this plan was in place before that so why didn't they stop people coming in?" Tribuiani said.

At a difficult time when stability and comfort are hard to find, the move by the hospital -- part of the Crozer Health system and owned by Prospect Medical Holdings based in Los Angeles -- is a slap in the face according to this family who pays nearly $10,000 a month for care.

"This is the end. It shouldn't be this. It should be comfortable and it should be for her, not for these big conglomerate corporations that just care about money," Tribuiani said.

Crozer Health addressed the closure in a statement to CBS3.

"Due to the paramount need for patient safety, declining admissions to inpatient hospice, and challenges presented by the national nursing shortage, Crozer Health will temporarily close our inpatient hospice unit at Taylor Hospital beginning Friday, February 11. This will allow us to redeploy our staff from the hospice unit to other areas in the health system in need of additional resources so we can continue to provide safe, high-quality care to all of our patients.

Current patients in the unit will be relocated to a nearby medical/surgical floor at Taylor Hospital. Outpatient hospice services will continue to be available."

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