ST. PAUL – After learning that House Democrats only supported allocating $3.9 million in new revenue out of a $17 billion budget surplus to nursing homes this budget cycle, State Representative Steve Jacob (R-Altura) is calling on House leadership to make the elderly and their caregivers a top priority.
“Our nursing homes are struggling to hire staff and keep their doors open for those who desperately need care,” Jacob said. “They are critical to our rural communities and should be near the top of our state’s funding priority list.”
In Minnesota, more than 1.3 million are over the age of 65, which is leading to a greater need for nursing home services. Yet, due to increased operating costs, a massive workforce shortage and other issues, Jacob said our nursing homes are struggling to deliver.
In October, 11,000 senior citizens were turned away from long-term care settings. Since 2020, almost 2,600 nursing home beds have been taken out of service. Jacob said that is the equivalent of more than fifty 50-bed nursing homes. 15 nursing homes have also closed permanently.
Jacob noted the inability to fully staff our nursing homes also creates unwanted stress on our hospitals, as nearly 20% of their bedspace is being taken up by people who should be recovering in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
“The State of Minnesota is truly in a crisis mode when it comes to our nursing homes, yet House Democrats are not taking this crisis seriously,” Jacob said. “With a record surplus, we have the ability to solve this problem and ensure Minnesota’s seniors and their caregivers receive the support they need.”