WATERBURY — An exclusive follow-up to a report FOX61 first brought you several weeks ago. A healthcare facility in Meriden is planning to close its doors. FOX61 discovered it's not the only one. Nursing home closures are a problem that experts say will likely get worse before getting better.
If you or a loved one is affected by a closure, you have rights. Any facility looking to close must petition the state and tell them why. The Department of Social Services has 30 days to either accept or reject the petition and then you have 60 days to appeal that decision.
In November, FOX61 broke the story of Apple Rehab’s petition to close their Westfield rehab facility in Meriden.
“There is a bit of a fallout and this fallout affects people,” said Mairead Painter the state’s Longterm Care Ombudsman. Since the report, FOX61 has discovered three other facilities in various states of crisis. In Wilton, Connecticut — Lourde’s Health Care Center is relocating dozens of nuns.
The Waterbury Gardens nursing home just went into state receivership.
FOX61 obtained the document of the court ordered takeover citing a “reasonable likelihood that the defendant's' facility will sustain a serious financial loss or failure which jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of the patients.”
“We’ve met with the residents and family members there to offer them support," said Painter.
The Bridgeport Healthcare Center is currently in bankruptcy court.
"We’re not sure what’s going to happen there," added Painter.
A concerning problem for patients and families scrambling to find care.
“There’s places that are full,” said Sharon McCarthy who had to relocate her uncle from the Meriden facility that intends to close. “There are waiting lists. What are you going to do when you have someone who needs 24 hour care and there is a waiting list?”
Painter said families affected by a closure can jump the line.
Painter said a combination of too much vacancy.
“We have been told we have too many beds in the state of Connecticut, yes,” said Painter.
Caused in large part by medical advancements and more care options outside nursing homes.
“We have wonderful services as far as home care goes so some people never make it to the nursing home now and that has affected the Medicare population,” said Painter. Not to mention, too many Medicaid patients and not enough private payers.
Painter wants to make it clear that the state does not close nursing homes. These are private facilities. But the state does have in place safeguards to make sure these facilities don’t close suddenly.