Nursing home patients handle closures


EUREKA, Calif. - Rockport Healthcare Services is closing three of its five skilled nursing facilities in Humboldt County. Those who live in the nursing homes said that last week they received a 60 day closure notice and are now working to figure out what is next.

"A lot of the families don't know what they're going to do with their loved ones, where they're going to go, where they can put them," explained Scott Combs, a resident at the Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center.

The Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center is one of the three nursing homes that are closing. The other two facilities closing are Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness Center and Seaview Rehabilitation & Wellness Center. Residents of the facilities and their family members both said that 60 days is not enough.

"That's not enough time even if you're looking for an apartment, much less looking for a nursing home that can take somebody on a feeding tube," said Shayna Dickinson.

According to staff with Rockport Healthcare Services closing the facility was their last choice. They are still looking for other solutions, but as of now are closing the three facilities. Staff said that the reason for the closure is due to a shortage of nurses.

The closure would lead to the North Coast losing 258 of its 446 skilled nursing beds.

Dickinson's husband lives in the Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center. He is a retired veteran, who served the country for 17 years. He now relies on assistance, which means he may have to go out of the county to get care. If that happens Dickinson said she will have to follow him, leaving her home behind, so she can ensure he is being properly cared for.

"How am I supposed to be making sure that they're keeping them clean," Dickinson asked.

Dickinson isn't the only one spending her days concerned with what is coming next. Combs said that the closure is overwhelming.

"I've become short tempered because I'm worried," said Combs.

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