GM Senior Living to delicense 5 nursing home beds

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Grand Meadow Senior Living is delicensing five nursing home beds as the nursing home industry continues trending toward a need for more homelike rooms.

The Mower County board voted 3-0 Monday — with Mike Ankeny and Jerry Reinartz absent — to sign a letter of support for the facility to delicense the beds to bring the facility’s beds from 43 to 38.

Executive Director Thomas Stevens told the board the move would save the facility $14,500 a year through surcharges and licensing fees. The home hasn’t had more than 37 rooms filled at a time in the last three years, Stevens said.

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Some of  GM’s sister facilities are taking similar actions, Stevens told the board, because they’re not seeing enough need for nursing home beds.

“They’re just not seeing the need as much because they can go to an environment that resembles more of a homelike atmosphere like an assisted living or going home in general,” he said.

Delicensing beds will also open GM Senior Living up for more private rooms and some more space for wellness and community life areas, according to Stevens.

The change will not cause any residents to move to new rooms or new facilities.

The board approved the request with a bit of apprehension, as they recognized it’d be very difficult to get relicensed for beds if the need should ever arise. The state has a moratorium prohibiting the addition of new nursing home beds because data shows the state still has more beds than needed, County Coordinator Craig Oscarson noted.

A concern is that delicensing beds over time will eventually make families have to look farther for nursing home care; however, Stevens noted the industry is going more toward home-like facilities and rooms with people preferring assisted living and memory care rooms to traditional nursing homes rooms.

“Good luck,” Commissioner Tim Gabrielson said. “It’s a hard issue, I know.”

“It is,” Stevens replied. “It is a very tough issue. Just nursing homes in general and senior services is a tough area. We need all the support we can get.”