Q: You recently wrote an article suggesting the nursing home sector in Massachusetts is on the verge of collapse. What provoked that?
A: We’ve been warning for years that we are going off a cliff and we are now in the air. We have a number of nursing homes that have closed.
Q: What’s the solution?
A: We’ve been asking for $90 million from the state. If you give us the money, we will put it right back into staff wages, but it’s not enough. The investment doesn’t stop with the staff. When you start to defer maintenance or do things outside of the realm, it hurts.
Q: What funding did you receive?
A: $35.5 million as a wage pass-through. It allows a little bit of ability to stay afloat, maybe a 50-cent increase.
Q: Are you optimistic this can be fixed by state government?
A: I’m not. I think our state Legislature is going to ignore the problem and we are going to have more closures right when demographics show the silver tsunami. I don’t think people understand how fragile and dependent these people are. You can’t come up with a scenario of home- and community-based services for the people we care for. You will have problems with access in the not-too-distant future.