The New York Times covered the issues stemming from declining nursing home occupancy detailing how shrinking numbers of residents has led to empty beds and hundreds of closures. This may lead to shorter staffing and more neglect.
Nicholas Castle, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, told the Times that 200 to 300 nursing homes close in the United States each year. And according to federal data, the number of residents dropped from 1.48 million in 2000 to 1.36 million in 2015.
In the second quarter of this year, skilled nursing occupancy was measured at 81.7% by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). The Times noted, however, that this number can hide considerable local variations; in some states, more than a third of beds were empty in 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
The 31 largest metropolitan markets have 13,586 fewer nursing home beds now than in late 2005, the Times noted, citing NIC data.