PIATT COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — This January was out of the ordinary for one county nursing home in Central Illinois, and it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of.
The Piatt County Nursing Home says it’s seen a big jump in the number of people vying for a spot there, so much so it’s more staff members and more are still needed.
Staff says, so far, the interest this year has been three times what it was last year.
The director says they’ve brought in so many new residents since the start of the year, he’s lost track, and says more than 40 people have contacted him asking about availability. They say the new spark in interest is one of their main goals.
Officials in Champaign County want to see the same for their nursing home, but they could be fighting more of an uphill battle.
“For us, we focused on building census.”
An increase in residents, and a couple new staff members, but they’re not done just yet.
“Actually, we need even more staff now.”
Piatt County Nursing Home Executive Director Scott Porter says, despite a busy January, they’re still trying to boost the number of people living there and they can’t do that without daily care.
“We currently are seeking pretty much CNA’s for every shift now, because our census has increased that much over the last two three months.”
Porter says, by the end of the year, they’d like to have about 85 people being cared for in the home.
“Really just build our program moving forward.”
About 30 miles to the east, the Champaign County Nursing Home is trying to recover from different issues.
County Board Member Pattsi Petrie says they’ll continue to try to bounce back from a long history of financial woes.
“It’s important for the taxpayers and the county to be told exactly what’s happening at the nursing home. We also need to be telling the story of what we’re doing to make the home financially stable.”
They’re holding an art fair at the home toward the end of this month with about 20 artists joining in. Staff hope to give families tours while talking about the services they provide.
“We are working hard, but we do want our members of the county to understand that it’s hard to turn it around.”
Both agree it’s a tough goal in a tough business.
“It’s very difficult because you are trying to promote a product that nobody really wants, they might need it, but until you do, you don’t really show a lot of interest in it.”
Petrie says the argument has been made to board members the Champaign County Nursing Home might be losing people to other counties and some see it as a concern.