Nursing homes close nationwide leaving families to figure out their next steps
“making sure that my daughter never felt like a burden to us”
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - More than 300 nursing homes have closed nationwide since the beginning of the pandemic.
Another 400 are projected to close this year and that is forcing some families to look for other options for long-term care.
Nikki Puzzo is the cofounder of Befree, and she’s a caregiver to her daughter, Stella. Puzzo knew she needed to jump into action for her family at a time when nursing homes weren’t an option for them. But it’s not always easy.
“I lean on a lot of my friends, versus like healthcare individuals, and family members to help out when I need a break and I need to check out,” said Puzzo.
Some family members will have to become caregivers with little to no training in assisting their loved one. Puzzo said it is important to make sure her daughter never feels like a burden.
“Finding solutions to ways to make their experience being home with you better so it alleviates the stress that falls on caregivers and the patient or the individual that’s home,” said Puzzo.
She said her heart breaks for the patients that live in nursing homes that will soon close.
“Knowing that they have the medical staff and their friends, there is a sense of community even among those individuals in nursing homes that they are losing and you know, it’s isolating,” said Puzzo.
According to the American Health Care Association, nursing homes are struggling financially while trying to recover from the pandemic. A spokesperson doesn’t expect nursing homes in Michigan to close in large numbers, but that could change.
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