To see that it's business as usual at Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living in Frederick, just look at the parking lot.
The county-owned facilities hosted an antique car party on Saturday to kick off Assisted Living Week, which runs nationwide through Sept. 14.
Shiny black vintage cars were signs of normalcy at the facility, which is hoping to keep its cool despite an ongoing legal battle and impending $30 million sale to Aurora Health Care Management that will decide the home's future.
Aurora took over as the center's management on Aug. 1 with little change to daily operations, according to Montevue administrator Diane Grove.
"We're trying to make it as seamless as possible," Grove said. "I think it can only enhance our programs."
The county commissioners' vote to privatize the home in June has residents on edge as they await a decision from the state Board of Public Works.
Selling the public facility could increase the cost of living to the point that many residents would have to seek care elsewhere, Montevue resident Ailie Boyd said.
"Maybe it'll put some people out of a home," Boyd said. "It's already hard to make ends meet. ... If they sell it and keep it the way it is, it'd be a blessing."
If sold to Aurora, the home will no longer accept subsidized residents. Grove said the county will pay $10.7 million over the next four years to keep the 58 current residents with subsidies in the home, and Aurora will cover the cost thereafter.
Citizens and Montevue provide a necessary service for the county's elderly, Boyd said.
"These people here need this building," Boyd said. "I was out on the street when they took me in ... I'm very grateful to have a place to stay."
Rebecca Fouche, another Montevue resident, said those affected should have had a say in the sale. She hopes the staff's attention to people's health doesn't change.
"Friendly isn't everything," Fouche said. "It's the service that matters and the amount of money you save."
Bill Burke, a maintenance worker at the facility for 12 years, said the staff is in limbo. It's aggravating to not know how Aurora would handle details like employee retirement or if the sale will happen at all, Burke said.
But caretakers said they still love coming to work and will keep patients in good spirits despite the uncertainty.
Marianne Walsh, Citizens Care's activities director, said Assisted Living Week is about celebrating the residents and keeping their stories alive.
"Our No. 1 thing is to focus on what we've always been known for, a high quality of care," Walsh said. "(A shadow) might be there but ... we all know it's going to be OK."
One woman had her picture taken next to a car built in 1914, the same year she was born. Other cars brought back memories of the residents' younger days.
"I remember that one," another woman said, passing by a Ford Model T. "I was naughty in this car once."
Follow Rachel S. Karas on Twitter: @rachelkaras.