TERREBONNE PARISH, La. — Though it sustained no serious damage from Hurricane Ida and has been inspected and cleared, the halls at Heritage Manor remain quiet as residents remain displaced throughout the state.
"Some of them have dementia, they're crying, they're upset they wanna come home," said Carey Redmond, the granddaughter of a heritage manor resident.
86-year-old Dorothy Redmond lives at Heritage Manor, only blocks away from her granddaughter Carey but, right now she's not home, she's hours away.
"It's taken a toll on her," said Carey Redmond.
It's been more than a month since Hurricane Ida forced Dorothy and hundreds of other residents to evacuate facilities.
Heritage Manor is one of at least three Terrebonne nursing homes that have been inspected and are ready to reopen but residents have not been allowed to return.
"She's declining every day, which is a lot of a result of what's been happening," said Lauren Easley.
Easley's mother, Evelyn, is 93-yeas-old and resides in Chateau Terrebonne, she was evacuated to Leesville.
"She says she feels like she's in prison," said Easley.
Nursing home operators said they want their residents to return home, too but it's not up to them.
"We want them back in Terrebonne Parish. We want them near their loved ones, we have to make sure that Terrebonne can take them, medically," said Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove.
President Dove can take action but in an interview on Wednesday he said because Terrebonne General is currently unable to provide inpatient services, it's too risky.
In a statement sent Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Health said:
"We want to work with all partners to get residents back home as quickly and safely as possible, understanding there are challenges and constraints we must work together to overcome."
"My contention is I'm a parish president. I could tell you everything about our infrastructure. But I'm not a doctor. I don't run a hospital," said Gordon Dove.
"I don't think all three hundred nursing home patients would be required to be at the hospital at one time," said Lauren Easley.
But there are options. Parish councilman Gerald Michel says he's reached out to nearby hospitals himself to confirm it.
"It's time to let these people come back home now where they're comfortable, where they can be loved by their families. It's time right now," said Gerald Michel, Terrebonne Parish council.
"We just want answers! Why? Why can't we come home," said Carey Redmond.
Answers are what these families have been trying to get for days.
"It's frustrating. As taxpayers, ya know we need answers. We're not trying to argue. Just, why can't these residents come home to their home?" said Carey Redmond.
The fear now, the answers and action may come too late.
"You're taking away the possibility that some of us may not be there for a parents' last moments on earth, the longer you keep them away," said Lauren Easley.