WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Hartford judge ruled Wednesday that a Waterbury nursing home will close its doors for good as soon as Nov. 6.

The order came after months of residents and workers pushing back, claiming that the facility could be saved. 

The state took over Waterbury Gardens in 2019. The court ordered the state to appoint a receiver, who is in charge of the nursing home.

Katharine Sacks, an attorney from New Haven, is the current receiver. Her most recent report said that the facility has several issues and is costing taxpayers a million dollars a year to operate. 

In a court order, Judge Claudia Baio ordered Sacks to close the facility. The order said, “While it is unfortunate, it appears that the matter has now reached the point where closure is inevitable.” 

125 employees of the nursing home will have to find another job once the facility closes. Sacks said residents have 60 days to move out as of Nov. 6, but that can be extended if more time is needed. 

Hazel Saunders, who has been vocal about the nursing home closing, said she is heartbroken about the judge’s order. 

“I thought I found the right place for me, and I did,” she said. “Everything I needed for my soul, my heart and my healing was here. After such a long time, everything I found was here and it still is.”

Saunders said the quality of care she received at Waterbury Gardens was better than the other nursing homes she’s been to. She described the relationship between residents and most employees as family.

When talks about the facility closing escalated earlier this year, she said many residents felt on edge and felt pressured to move out. 

Saunders and 16 other residents are left at the nursing home. Administrators are working with residents on plans to move to another facility. 

Sacks said residents with special respitory needs can be moved to a chronic disease hospital, such as Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford or Hospital for Special Care in New Britain.  

Sacks said in a comment to News 8: 

“It’s a sad situation, no question about it. But it’s not a situation that has risen suddenly. It’s been going on for nearly four years. I’m sorry, I know it’s difficult. It’s a matter that the court considered carefully.” 

The state department of social services is also overseeing this process. 

A spokesperson issued a statement, saying: 

“We take the closing of every nursing home seriously and review each situation with individual care and consideration. Our priority has always been the well-being and safety of the residents of Waterbury Gardens. Now that the judge has rendered a ruling, we will focus on ensuring that the receiver has all the support needed to guarantee a seamless transition process for all residents remaining at the facility. We have been working with multiple stakeholders to ensure that all residents needing additional care continue to receive that same level of care in proximity to loved ones.”