St. Lawrence County's Last Adult Home ClosingPosted: Updated:
St. Lawrence County's last adult home is closing, and 28 people will need to find a new place to live.
The closing of the Riverledge Residence in Ogdensburg has been in the works for several months, and was announced Monday by United Helpers.
"It's a sad day," United Helpers CEO Steve Knight told 7 News.
Riverledge Residence is an adult home, meaning that the people who live there have their own rooms, can get around without assistance, but are served three meals a day and get help with things like remembering medications and doctor appointments.
United Helpers gets $42 a day from the state for each resident, far from enough money to keep the program running.
"That program has had a very tough time making ends meet," Knight said. "We've done a lot of things over the years to try to help the program break even," including consolidating and sharing services, but to no avail, he said.
"This is one of those very low cost services that keeps people out of the hospital and is an option for hospitals to place people when they can't go home."
Knight says 70 percent of United Helpers' income comes from Medicaid, which doesn't cover the full cost of care and gives less money to adult homes than other places such as skilled nursing homes.
Riverledge's other facilities - skilled nursing and adult rehabilitation - are not affected by Monday's closing announcement.
United Helpers officials met with the program's residents Monday morning; "We'll help them with appropriate alternative placement," Knight said. That could include moving closer to family members, or to another program such as enriched or senior housing.
Riverledge began planning the closing several months ago, but was required by the state health department to keep the plans private. Officials stopped admitting new residents to the facility.
They plan to close by August 31, but if there are still people looking for places to live "we'll just keep working," Knight said.
United Helpers runs a variety of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in Ogdensburg and Canton.