Alliance of Family Councils of NY

Our Shrinking Pool of Nursing Homes

January 30, 2015. During the past several years we have seen the nursing home capacity in the state steadily diminish. Many facilities have closed, and in some that remain open many long-term care beds are being replaced by more profitable short-term rehab units. This is happening precisely at a time when the population is aging. Of course it would be better if more people could remain in their homes and not have to enter a nursing home when they age. For this to be viable, and especially if the trend towards closing long-term beds continues, long-term care services in the home must be made more readily available and affordable. Otherwise we will find ourselves facing a crisis.

In New York City alone we have recently lost Bialystoker Nursing Home and Cabrini Nusing Home on the Lower East Side. The Village Nursing Home has closed and relocated, and has become devoted predominantly to rehab. Goldwater Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island has closed to make way for a new technology campus, creating a crisis for many residents who are among the poorest in the city. Kateri Nursing Home is now owned by a for-profit company and known as The Riverside. Terence Cardinal Cooke has plans to cut itself in half. The list of homes now shedding some of their long-term beds and devoting them to rehab is considerably longer.

A very recent example of this trend is Maplewood Manor in Saratoga County, now transferring from public to private ownership. For-profit nursing homes are not necessarily inferior to nonprofits; however, the trend with for-profit ownership has frequently been to maximize profits by cutting the numbers of staff and/or the wages they receive. This trend poses a danger to residents, since most nursing homes are already understaffed. You can read the details about Mapelwood in the reference below.

Yusko, Dennis. “Saratoga County Unloading Nursing Home.” The Saratoga Blog, January 30, 2015.