In-Home Care A Factor In Residential Care Facility’s Closing
By Beth Hunolt
During recent meetings of the Knox County Nursing Home District’s Board of Directors the announcement of the closure of the Knox County Residential Care Facility was made.
At the November meeting it was noted that the current occupancy was 31 in the nursing home and five in the residential care facility, low numbers for both of the facilities. The Residential Care Facility hosts’ twenty-four beds for occupancy and the nursing home can provide sixty beds to residents. The Residential Care Facility would be celebrating its 25th Anniversary in March of this year, if it had continued to stay open. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case. Due to the low census, the facility will close as of February 5th, 2010.
The Residential Care Facility employs five full time and two part time employees, whose jobs will no longer be available.
As of December of 2007 the Residential Care Facility has only one month recorded where the facility financially broke even. Knox County Nursing Home Administrator Tim Schrage explained that one of the reasons that vacancy has risen is the growing national trend for in-home care treatment, causing seniors to opt for treatment with health care providers coming in to the home to assist with necessities, rather than moving into nursing homes.
Schrage also mentioned that the Knox County Nursing Home District has hired a market analyst to see if the Residential Care Facility could feasibly be converted to an Assisted Living Facility. If the board decides to make the Residential Care Facility in to an Assisted Living Facility, major changes will be made to the building to upgrade it. Mr. Schrage also reported that he would like to remodel the nursing home to give the residents a more at home feeling, while in the nursing home’s care. With these changes Schrage feels that more people would stay within the district and the census would rise.
“The district needs the support of the community, if it is to continue servicing the county,” Says Schrage. Community support is vital to any nursing home district’s future.