WATERBURY, Conn. — A Waterbury nursing home is closing for good this comes after a years-long battle about whether or not the facility should stay open.
A judge ordered the closure of Waterbury Gardens earlier this month.
The state took receivership of the nursing home nearly four years ago. Financial troubles, staffing shortages and building issues are just some of the reasons the state recommended Waterbury Gardens permanently close.
"There’s just no way to sugar coat it or gloss over the fact that it effectively is an eviction for the residents it separates them from their caregivers, sometimes caregivers that have taken care of them for many years," said Matt Barrett, president and CEO, of the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Facilities.
The court-ordered receiver described many issues with the nursing home in reports this year, stating that it was costing taxpayers close to $1 million a month to keep the facility open and that it was down to only about 18 residents.
Now, the state has begun the process of relocating residents and given employees the required 60-day notice of the closure though it could remain open longer.
"For the nursing home staff. Some of them who have worked in the facility for decades it’s very disruptive, it effectively displaces them from their jobs," Barrett said.
He said this is one of several recent nursing home closures in our state, something he described as an alarming trend as occupancy levels inch closer to what they were pre-pandemic.
"We have a very rapidly aging population in Connecticut and so the rapid erosion of this nursing home infrastructure is something that could be very harmful in terms of having the supply of long-term care services that we need," Barrett said.
In regards to Waterbury Gardens, the Department of Social Services shared a statement that reads:
"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."
125 workers are expected to be laid off due to this closure. That could happen as soon as November 6.
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