Getting Answers: several local nursing homes closing their doors

Getting Answers: several local nursing homes closing their doors
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 11:17 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A viewer reached out to our newsroom on Wednesday to share concerns after learning the Springfield nursing home where family members live is shutting down.

“We have to respect our seniors. They put in their time and a time for us to honor and respect them and this is real disrespectful,” said Gary Rosemond of Springfield.

Rosemond shared his frustration with Western Mass News after learning the Chapin Center on Kendall Street in Springfield, where both his mom and aunt live, is shutting down.

“We had no notice of anything. Everybody got a phone call and said we have 60 days to find somewhere for them to go,” Rosemond added.

Western Mass News is getting answers from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We’re told that Mass. DPH was notified that four western Massachusetts nursing homes operated by Northeast Health Group intend to close. They include Chapin Center, Governor’s Center in Westfield, and Willimansett Centers East and West in Chicopee. The proposed closing date is June 23.

So far, Rosemond’s family has had no luck finding the resources needed to provide their loved ones with long-term care.

“They gave us a list of other nursing homes to work off of, but I’ve called most of these already. There’s no space available and some of these are even rest homes which don’t accept long term care,” Rosemond explained.

Now, he’s worried their family will be separated.

“They could ship our loved ones anywhere in the state as far as Boston, Lawrence, even Cape Cod and it’s unfair and unjust to our seniors and our families…The lack of time me and my brother would be able to spend with our loved ones would take a toll on them more than it would on us because they’re used to seeing us and having us around,” Rosemond explained.

While families are scrambling, Katie Murphy, president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said it’s impacting employees too.

“This isn’t just nurses. It’s therapists and people that work in the kitchens and transport and support services. People want to work in their community,” Murphy noted.

She added that the closure of nursing homes can back up area hospitals as well.

“I think it will only contribute to people not being able to get an inpatient bed and I know, for a fact, that often times, we have patients waiting for several days, maybe even over a week, to get into a nursing facility, so that means some acutely needs an inpatient bed is sitting in an emergency department,” Murphy added.

Mass. DPH also told us the closure notices and draft closure plans for the four facilities that are closing will be posted on the department’s website soon.