Heartland Nursing Home Closing

Heartland Nursing Home Closing
By: Arnold Wyrick

Budget cuts and Medicare restrictions are forcing a Heartland nursing home to close its doors after more then 30 years of service.

The Park Avenue Health Care Home staff in Herrin, IL is saying goodbye for the last time to their patients. It hurts to say goodbye to friends who have now become family. "That place is like a big family, " says Dale Poiter, his wife Marge has been at Park Avenue for the past 18 months. "That's why we hate to leave from there. They've been so good to her, and so good to me. Everybody knows everybody, it's not a big place. But it was ideal," said Poiter as he wiped tears from his eyes.

But finding another place to live is difficult for some folks with special needs.  Having to tell his wife that she was going to have to move was very difficult for Poiter. "She asked what was the matter? And I told her I didn't know any other way of telling but to just tell her. And I said they're closing this place, and she said No! And I said yeah they are," Poiter said.

With each member of their family who leaves they all can only wave goodbye as they wipe tears from their eyes. "Each time someone leaves we have a good cry, but some of them are going to the same place that Marge is and when I tell them that it perks them up," said Poiter. The home's administrator wouldn't talk to Heartland News on camera, but Connie Dodson did say that the company that owns the home wasn't bankrupt, they choose not to do business in Illinois any more.