Nursing home vac rates

Thousands Of Nursing Home Beds Empty As State Rebalances Care

At the Governor’s House Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Simsbury, 17 of the nursing home’s 73 beds sat empty this spring – a 23-percent vacancy rate that would have been unlikely five years ago. The home’s occupancy has fallen despite its above-average health care quality scores in the federal government’s rating system. “There are a lot of factors – a lot of initiatives out there now to keep people out of nursing homes,” said Keith Brown, the home’s administrator. “And with the increase in home care, we’re seeing a more frail resident population. So we have fewer residents, with higher acuity.”

The Simsbury home is not unique: Nearly a third of Connecticut’s nursing homes are less than 90 percent occupied, with Litchfield and Tolland counties bearing the highest vacancy rates, an analysis of state data shows.

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Home Care Challenge: Retaining Workers, Keeping Costs Low

Debbie Hardy, a home health care aide, is the reason that Frank Geraldino, 48, a paraplegic, is able to live in his Seymour apartment – rather than in a nursing facility. Hardy, of Ansonia, is an independent worker providing in-home personal care services, such as bathing and feeding, for people with serious disability. Medicaid covers the bill, but the patients are technically the employers, hiring and scheduling their own in-home care. More than 6,000 personal care workers are listed on various registries as providing in-home care services.   The lists include home health aides, who are trained and licensed as certified nursing assistants, and personal care assistants, who are not licensed.

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