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Assisted living facility seeking government help after losing thousands of dollars due to the pandemic

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 6:15 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - We’ve seen how the pandemic has affected small businesses, schools and nursing homes, but now we’re bringing assisted living into the conversation.

Executive Director of Elmcroft Peggy Smith says that without any help, it will be hard for them to bounce back due to the pandemic.

Assisted living facilities serve the most vulnerable population during this pandemic and they’ve had to spend extra money to keep their elders safe. These costs include PPE, additional staff needs, covid testing and a sharp decline in occupancy rates.

“There has been some federal funding made available to certain industries,” said Smith. “Unfortunately, assisted living, we were, back in September to look at two percent of federal funding to providers and have yet to receive half of that.”

While they wait, the cost of keeping their doors open is only increasing. Smith says they have lost tens of thousands of dollars alone at Elmcroft. Nationally, operators have lost over $15 billion.

“Right now over half of the assisted living providers are feeling that in the coming year, because they’re running in the red, they may not be able to continue what they’re doing,” Smith continued.

With over 2 million vulnerable seniors, having to close assisted living facilities could have a larger effect.

Smith said, “I think just the disruption to them this late in life is always just difficult, and the thought being that maybe at home we couldn’t continue to care for everything, but here meals are provided, housekeeping, all the things that maybe they were finding difficult so they can enjoy the later years of life.”

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