Residents Are Scattered as Nursing Homes Close

Senior man in hat

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In rural areas, many nursing homes are closing due to losing money, an average of about $58 per resident per day in South Dakota, or being bought out or merged with another nursing home. When these nursing homes close, residents are sent miles away from their home, friends, and, in many cases, spouses.

In a case with a South Dakota couple, one spouse was sent 220 miles north to a North Dakota nursing home. They chose the facility because it was closer to their son’s home and the community spouse was able to find a small apartment close to the nursing home so she could still remain close to her husband.

Another couple who were 20 miles apart, weren’t able to see each other for six days during a snowstorm and the community spouse wondered if her husband would forget her because he suffers from severe dementia. When the couples live farther apart, it’s harder for them to visit as frequently as they may desire.

Even those that want to stay in their home and receive care are having trouble because there aren’t enough caregivers for all that wish to receive care in their home.