As previously reported in Crain’s Chicago Healthcare Daily, the Illinois Finance Authority approved a Lutheran Home for the Aged facility in suburban Arlington Heights’ $120 million plan to gut and renovate a facility to include private bathrooms in each resident’s room as part of an overall plan to “gut and renovate” its main facility.
As the article suggested, this renovation project, which will decrease the number of skilled nursing beds by 12, is triggered at least in part by “historically low interest rates.”
Two initial thoughts come to mind about this project.
First, the ins and outs of this project (reducing the number of beds, while modernizing a facility at “historically low” costs) is a rather strong piece of evidence against the excuses that many nursing home representatives make when they complain that renovating and modernizing facilities is cost prohibitive.
Second, it should not be overlooked that this plan will also decrease the number of skilled nursing beds. If nursing homes aren’t going to truly get serious about bringing the number of skilled nurses and staff up to acceptable and appropriate levels, then maybe this approach — cutting down on beds while simultaneously modernizing facilities — can provide some semblance of an agreeable balance going forward. Only time will tell, of course.
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