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In the Nursing Home, Empty Beds and Quiet Halls

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According to the New York Times, nursing homes in some areas of the country are seeing fewer residents. Some are even closing.

For more than 40 years, Morningside Ministries operated a nursing home in San Antonio, caring for as many as 113 elderly residents. The facility, called Chandler Estate, added a small independent living building in the 1980s and an even smaller assisted living center in the 90s, all on the same four-acre campus.


The whole complex stands empty now. Like many skilled nursing facilities in recent years, Chandler Estate had seen its occupancy rate drop.

"Every year, it seemed a little worse," said Patrick Crump, chief executive of the nonprofit organization, supported by several Protestant groups. "We were running at about 80 percent."

Staff at the Chandler Estate took pride in its five-star rating on Medicare's Nursing Home Compare website. But by the time the board of directors decided it had to close the property, only 80 of its beds were occupied, about 70 percent.


Revenue from independent and assisted living couldn't compensate for the losses incurred by the nursing home.

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"You have increased alternatives, like assisted living, and other ways for people to stay at home," said Ruth Katz, senior vice president of public policy at Leading Age, which represents nonprofit senior service providers. "When people find community alternatives, they use them whenever possible."

Sounds like a good thing.

The article didn't say if nursing homes with more problems were for-profit. I was just wondering the ratio.

Could be problematic if there are fewer beds... could end up being more difficult finding placement.

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