Lack of funding may cause nursing homes to close

BOSTON (WWLP) – Nursing homes care for nearly 150,000 people in the country, but many of them are not as old as you may think.

Peggy Papulis, 55, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a young age and depends on others to help her with daily activities. She said, “Top to bottom: bathing, feeding. They do everything for me. 24/7, so I need them.”

Her mother, Mary O’Brien, decided to put her in a nursing home, a decision that’s never easy for a family. “To see her so debilitated now, but also, that’s very hard. But to see her taken care of is wonderful and taken care of with such care and love, it’s very comforting.”

Budget cuts, however, could cut care for your loved ones. Nursing homes rely heavily on state funding. If the Governor’s plan to cut funding by $20 million next fiscal year goes through, it could compromise the quality of care.

“I think we do the best we can given our reimbursement rates. Approximately 70% of the people in nursing homes in this Commonwealth are on MassHealth so it impacts all facilities, our ability to keep qualified people and track qualified people,” said the Jewish Geriatric Service’s Marty Baicker.

Massachusetts ranks as the 4th worst state in the country when it comes to nursing home funding. Since the start of the year, 4 nursing homes in the state have been forced to close.

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