Elderly Couple Removed From Longtime Home; Family, Friend Dispute Office of Aging Findings

In May 1964, Nels and Irene Highberg bought their first and only home. It was a modest, brick rancher — no garage — on a pleasant cul-de-sac on the edge of East Petersburg.

The Highbergs raised two sons there. They entertained neighbors there. They grew old there.

After 48 years at 6312 Miriam Circle, the Highbergs — Nels is 92, Irene is 89 — figured they could manage a while longer. Family and friends agreed.

But the county Office of Aging stepped in last summer, saying for safety reasons the Highbergs must move to a nursing home.

“I ain’t going to go,” Highberg said, according to Erick Highberg, the couple’s 54-year-old son.

When a van arrived Aug. 2 to take the couple to Oak Leaf Manor in Millersville, Highberg sat in a chair in the driveway for many long minutes. He got in the van only after a police officer showed up.

“He respected her uniform,” said Erick Highberg, noting his father’s more than 20 years of service in the Navy and Coast Guard.

Mrs. Highberg said in a phone interview she got in the van to see what the nursing home was like. “I didn’t understand we would be locked up here,” she said. “They brought us in here, and they kind of disappeared real quick.”

Now, after more than three months at Oak Leaf Manor, Mrs. Highberg still wants to return home.

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Elderly Couple Removed From Longtime Home; Family, Friend Dispute Office of Aging Findings

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10 Responses to “Elderly Couple Removed From Longtime Home; Family, Friend Dispute Office of Aging Findings”

  1. tHELMA Says:

    What drives government – the protector of the people – to do these things? What does government get out of it when people can be cared for in their own homes, at much lower cost?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    thelma? gvt gets the estate taxes as fast as they can, they draw up all the papers and people like these are moved out before the ink dries. judges sign on, social workers close their files and pass them on to the fed, every one else goes home.people like you and me fume over what has been done one more time again.

  3. Finny Says:

    It's a typical case, I am afraid. The Highbergs are in quicksand with no way out. So very sad.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I am so sorry for what the Highbergs are going through. It makes me so mad and it's all so senseless….

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I know how these agencies operate looking for one code word to snatch the oldster from their homes and it's about the $$$$ and the funding for these agencies they need cases, numbers in order to maintain status quo or better yet expand their agency with more government employees and job security. In all cases? No but in many cases I watched this in 1st person sneaky sob's who upset my family member trying to get our loved one brainwashed into making untrue statements – yes, believe it and be on alert.

  6. Samantha Says:

    The Highbergs want to go home and that's exactly what the Office of Aging should make happen!

  7. Brad Says:

    To do this to people in their late 80's or early 90's is criminal. I will pray for this family.

  8. Felix Lee Says:

    This is so sad. What has this couple done to deserve to be exiled? They were happy in their home, they shouldn't have been forced to leave. It does not make any sense.

  9. Felix Says:

    It's not about making sense, Felix. It's always rooted in money and greed.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    please help me. I am about to lose my mother. my sister is seeking guardianship over my mom. I promised my mom i wold never leave her or keep her in a nursing home. i promised to honor her changed POA and will and keep her finances safe. please please help me. brenda g

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