Genesis Health Care, the company that owns Morrisville Center, a Nursing Home facility in Vermont, is shutting down due to insufficient nursing staff. “It’s pretty straightforward. There’s a national nursing crisis. For about three years we’ve had a very difficult time finding licensed nurses,” explains Pam Elrod of Genesis Health Care. State law requires the facility to have licensed nurses on staff 24 hours a day. There aren’t enough nurses in Vermont, so the company has had to hire temporary nurses from as far away as Mississippi at a great expense to the company. “If you don’t have nurses to hire, you are forced to do what you can to make sure care is given adequately. With 50% of the licensed nurses on staff turning over every thirteen weeks, it’s almost impossible to maintain consistent quality,” says Elrod.
The decision to close the nursing home has put many families in a tough predicament. There are approximately 58 residents looking for new homes. One of the big problems is there are no openings in local nursing homes. There’s such a shortage of nursing homes that some residents are traveling over 50 miles to find nursing facilities that have openings. Other resident’s are opting to stay home and utilize the services of a Home Health Nursing. Some families are seeking out professional Geriatric Care Managers to assist them with their long-term care issues. With the nursing shortage crisis only worsening with each passing day, families have to re-adjust their thinking to find alternative solutions to this ongoing problem.