Rock Rapids, Iowa — We now have more information about a Rock Rapids nursing home that is temporarily closed.
The facility, known as the Rock Rapids Health Centre since its opening in 1977 is now being called the Rock Rapids Care Center, and is run by a company called Arboreta Healthcare.
The Administrator of Rock Rapids Care Center, Chris Rickard, tells us that due to a staffing shortage at Rock Rapids Care Center, they, “…have made the difficult decision to temporarily relocate our residents to a sister facility, Pleasant Acres Care Center, about 20 minutes south in Hull. We have developed a safe plan for transfer that has been approved by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.”
Rickard says the decision was not taken lightly, as they know that their residents and families are affected. He says they are communicating with these families to ensure they understand the need to keep their loved ones safe and in good care and he says they apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause during this time.
Rickard says that while they are owned by the same company, Premier Estates Rock Rapids Assisted Living is a separate facility that is not impacted by the relocation and residents will remain at this location with its staff.
He emphasizes that this is not a closure but a transfer of residents, and says however that when Rock Rapids Care Center will reopen has not yet been determined. He tells us they will evaluate their staffing needs to determine when the timing is right and safest for their residents.
Rickard says the current census of the facility is 16 residents.
He tells us that families were called and notified early last week of the change. He says they had the choice to allow their loved ones to transfer to Pleasant Acres or they would provide assistance to move their loved ones elsewhere.
According to Rickard, the Rock Rapids Care Center’s current staff transitioned with residents to Pleasant Acres, allowing them to have some familiar faces as they were welcomed into their new living environment.
Thankfully, Rickard says there was sufficient space to comfortably transfer the current residents of the Rock Rapids facility to Pleasant Acres. He says there were only 12 residents there, and the Hull facility can handle up to 60.
He says the lingering effects of the Covid pandemic, combined with the scarcity of healthcare staff in rural communities, have been the chief contributors to many facilities in the industry experiencing the same challenges.
Rickard says continuing to provide great care for their residents is their main goal, with their ongoing focus being on their employees. He says “They are the heart and soul of our facilities. We continue to make a conscious effort to enhance wages and benefits, and to offer retention plans to attract and keep great employees. If you are called to serve in the health care industry, consider a career in long-term care.”