California Nursing Home’s Closure Underlines Steps To Ease ‘Transfer Trauma’ as Shutdowns Rise

The recent closure of a California facility is bringing even more attention to the broader issue of bed shortages and “transfer trauma” at nursing homes across the U.S., given that shutdowns of facilities have continued to mount in recent weeks.

Efforts are being made to prevent “transfer trauma” among the older residents at skilled facilities, with nursing homes attempting to implement a relocation plan emphasizing medical assessments prior to relocation to mitigate potential adverse health consequences.

Covenant Living Communities announced on January 15 that Brandel Manor, a 145-bed nursing home in Turlock, Calif., and its adjacent Cypress Assisted Living, will be closing due to financial issues and workforce challenges. The closure left approximately 100 residents in need of relocation, with families facing long waiting lists and a shortage of available beds in the county, The Modesto Bee reported.


A spokesperson for Covenant Living Communities stated that the organization was working with the state and healthcare providers to ensure the residents were being relocated to facilities where they would receive appropriate care.

There were 15 move-outs scheduled so far in the days ahead “as space becomes available,” he said.

By law, nursing home residents are given 60 days notice before a facility closure, but Covenant said Brandel will stay in operation until all residents are relocated.


Under a relocation plan filed with the California Department of Public Health, dated Dec. 29, “The geographic scope of potential receiving facilities will be expanded as needed to accommodate all residents of the facility.”

Also, the facility will have the patient’s physician or Brandel’s medical director assess the patient and make recommendations, such as counseling and follow-up visits “to ameliorate potential adverse health consequences of the relocation,” the plan states.

Families and residents have been given a list of possible facilities for relocation, and the county’s Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is offering assistance to ensure residents and their families are informed about their rights and options, The Modesto Bee reported. However, concerns linger about the emotional and physical well-being of elderly residents during the transition.

Brandel Manor, formerly owned by Emanuel Medical Center, faced increased deficiencies and lapses in care in recent years, contributing to the decision to close.

While Covenant Living Communities has not made a decision on the future of the buildings, they cited an analysis of the physical facility, financial sustainability, and workforce challenges as factors leading to the closure. The facility is set to remain in operation until all residents are relocated, with a projected closure date of April 15, according to the relocation plan filed with the California Department of Public Health.

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