Friday, February 3, 2023

'Where will they live?': Humboldt nursing home residents displaced

Where will they live?

That's the question for 45 residents of a Humboldt nursing home that's closing its doors. It's one of six Iowa care facilities shutting down and displacing 260 residents by order of state regulators.

"I think it's awful that people are going to have to go so far away to see their family. My daughter works there, and she is losing her job, so that's a bummer," said Mandy Davis, who lives in Humboldt.

Davis says it’s the talk of the town. State regulators say the new owners, Blue Care Homes, must close the Humboldt facility along with five others across the state. And now, health care leaders in Humboldt County are scrambling to help.

"We are here to help any way we can," said Michelle Sleiter, CEO of Humboldt County Memorial Hospital.

Sleiter also oversees the Humboldt County Health Department. She is sending hospital workers to the Humboldt Care Facility to help as it closes. The hospital will now run the last 28-bed nursing home in Humboldt. But there’s a problem.

"Our nursing home at the hospital is the only option now after this closes, and again I only have 28 beds, and unfortunately, we're full," said Sleiter.

Sleiter says nursing homes are closing due to many factors. They include worker shortages, supply chain issues and revenue trouble. She is urging state lawmakers to investigate the problem

"This is going to be a long-term game that we are going to have to work through. Nothing is going to change overnight," said Sleiter.

The hope of Iowa leaders is that the residents will be placed within 20 miles. A new burden for the residents and their families who call Humboldt home.

"It's hard. These are people's lives, and most of them have lived in Humboldt their entire lives. So having to potentially find placement outside of our community hits close to home," Sleiter said.

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'Where will they live?': Humboldt nursing home residents displaced

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