Cairo’s only nursing home slated to close; workers in shock

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 11:17 PM CDT
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CAIRO, Ill. (KFVS) - Cairo, Illinois could be losing one of its largest employers, and the town’s only nursing home.

On Thursday, officials from Aperion Care, Inc. corporate came to Cairo to inform workers that the nursing home will close in the next 30 to 60 days.

Cairo mayor Thomas Simpson said he is worried about where the residents plan to relocate along with the job loss.

“My goal here is to grow this community, create jobs not lose jobs,” Mayor Simpson said. “And for something like this to happen it’s just devastating to the whole community.”

Veronica Graham is one of about 60 people at Aperion who will be out of work. She’s been working there for two years.

“To just take a job away...that’s going to hurt a lot,” Graham said it will impact not only her, but many other employees. “A lot of people have been here ten...15...20 years just with no sign, out of the blue, they come in here and tell you, we are closing. It’s not like we have four, five, six months warning.”

According to management at the Cairo location, Lisa Ulbert is the VP of the company and the person with the answers. However, KFVS was not able to reach her Monday.

The workers’ union field representative Judy Simpson said the timing comes as a shock to the workers she represents.

“The employees were completely stunned. There were a lot of tears, a lot of concern for the residents and themselves and the town,” Simpson said.

According to Simpson, the facility has 62 employees and 53 residents.

“The reason they gave to the employees, was that it was for financial reasons. That they were just breaking even or losing the last few years,” Simpson explained.

Graham said she hopes something can be done to prevent the facility from shutting it’s doors.

“What we really want is to keep this place open, we don’t even want to think about having to drive no where, being uprooted,” Graham said. “We want to stay here, we want to keep it open.”

Simpson said some of the closest nursing homes are in neighboring states.

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