WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — An assisted living facility in Williamsville says it will close its doors later this summer.
This means dozens of families will need to find new care for their loved ones. This can be a stressful time for some trying to find the right fit and one they can afford.
More than 800,000 people live in "assisted living facilities" in the U.S.
Research shows families are paying "$4,500" per month on average but based on the amount of care required, it can be the less expensive option for families, compared to in-home care or a traditional nursing home.
Park Creek Senior Living in Williamsville is trying to ease the transition by helping families find a new place to live. 7 News Anchor & Reporter Lia Lando spoke with Park Creek's owner Monday about the decision to shut down. She also spoke with an expert for advice on finding the right home for your loved one.
Michael Huntress has owned Park Creek Assisted Living for 15 years.
He says the facility is scheduled to close by July 15 and they're now in the process of helping about 50 residents find new homes.
Lia Lando asked him why they chose to close and he said, "I guess it's a 2-fold answer. One is we've struggled mightily for the last 24 months since Covid with the census at the facility going down...all along we've been dealing with huge increases in expenses and we got to a point where the only thing that makes sense is to close it and find everybody new places."
Kelley Clem, Vice President of Patient Advocacy at Hospice Buffalo says transitioning from one senior care facility to another can be hard on residents and their families.
"Because many of these residents have become accustomed to it," Clem said. "The worst time to make a decision is when you are under stress and while it is a stressful time the best thing to do is plan ahead."
Clem recommends you look at facilities close to your home and make sure they have the kind of standards you're accustomed to.
She says to visit the floor where your loved one would live and ask about staffing patterns, "What are your staffing patterns on the weekend? what kind of numbers are you looking at on the night shift to make sure that your loved one is going to have that consistent care?"
Once you make a decision, visit often. "Make yourselves known. Make yourselves aware to the nursing home personnel that you are an invested family member and they will invest in your loved one," Clem explains.
Huntress says he's confident the residents and staff will find good homes.
He explains, "The employees won't have a tough time finding a job and I can tell you that all the other assisted living facilities are also down with their census so there's a lot of rooms."
While the facility is scheduled to close by July 15, Huntress says it could close sooner if all the residents find a place to live before that.
He says staff will remain at that building until everyone finds a home.