State puts end to Carolees assisted living center

Ridgefield facility had operated for 24 years until foreclosure, auction

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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The state Department of Social and Health Services shut down a longtime assisted living center in Ridgefield after the facility went into foreclosure and was sold at public auction.

DSHS issued notice of its intent to revoke the operating license for Carolees at Ridgefield on March 21, after learning owner Carol Fox had fallen behind on her mortgage payments and was facing foreclosure, said Nancy Tyson, district administrator for DSHS residential care services. At the time, 28 residents lived there, Tyson said.

The license revocation was effective April 18, after a 29-day appeal period expired without Fox challenging the state decision, Tyson said. All of the residents had relocated before the April 18 revocation, she said.

The property sold for $3 million at a public auction March 29. Fox's lender, Matrix Advisors IV, took possession of the deed of trust.

The property also included 12 cottages that were rented but were not licensed as part of the assisted living facility.

Walt Bassett, 84, and his wife, Vera, rented one of the cottages for 11/2 years before learning in early April that they had to move out.

"That's when everything hit the fan and everything went to pot," Walt Bassett said.

The Bassetts were told the facility had sold and they had a week or two to find a new place to live.

"It was a very short time, and it didn't seem reasonable," Walt Bassett said.

"There was no forewarning," he added. "We didn't know anything was going on until it was too late."

The Bassetts were renting a cottage month to month for $1,500, which included prepared meals. They paid for the month of April, and another $300 in advance for the month of May, but Walt said the couple never got any of their money back when they were forced to move out. The Bassetts moved into a new facility April 15.

Fox could not be reached for comment.

Carolees at Ridgefield, 888 S. Hillhurst Road, operated as a licensed assisted living facility for 24 years. The facility was licensed to house 36 residents.

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546; http://twitter.com/col_health;http://facebook.com/reporterharshman;marissa.harshman@columbian.com.