OPINION: St. Louis nursing homes are being purchased by out-of-state owners with little regard for workers or residents


As a nursing home worker in St. Louis City, I have seen firsthand the challenges faced by our residents and the strain on workers over the last three years. The nursing home industry is in crisis, with short staffing, inadequate training, out-of-state owners, and a changing demographic of residents that we are not properly trained to care for.

St. Louis seniors are in crisis and so are the caregivers they count on. Over the past few years, we have seen a shift in the demographics of nursing home residents. Instead of aging seniors, we are more and more often caring for younger people with mental health diagnoses, many of whom require specialized care and support

These residents require special skills and attention that many of us just don’t have. When we are already trying to care for two or three times as many people than we are supposed to, we just cannot keep up and provide the quality care residents deserve.

Unfortunately, many nursing homes in St. Louis are being purchased by out-of-state owners who have little regard for the workers or residents. They are solely focused on making a quick buck and maximizing profits, often at the expense of the quality of care provided. They are cutting corners, reducing staff, and failing to invest in the training and resources necessary.

I work at Hillside Manor owned by Luxor Healthcare LLC out of New Jersey. A year ago, Luxor purchased Hillside along with Beauvais Manor and Rancho Manor in St. Louis. In that time, we have seen short staffing, workers without enough training, crumbling facilities, refusal to pay workers for agreed-upon paid time off, wages being lowered, and a lack of dignity and respect.

These out-of-state owners are turning good, union jobs into bad jobs that don’t pay enough to survive. Jobs where your body may not be safe.

Nursing homes are not just businesses – they are places where our most vulnerable residents go to receive care and support. We must prioritize the needs of our residents and workers over the profits of out-of-state owners. We must invest in our workers, provide the training and resources necessary to provide quality care. The well-being of our residents and safety of workers should be our top priority, and we must take action to ensure that they receive the care and support they need and deserve.

Workers lead this industry, and we know what is needed to fix it and make it better and stronger. That’s why I’m encouraged to see the rule changes being proposed at the federal level by President Biden. But we know the nursing home lobby will fight as hard as they can to water down those changes, and more action is needed. It’s time for owners and government officials to start listening to us.

(Gabrielle Love is a certified medication technician (CMT) at Hillside Manor Healthcare and Rehab Center and a member of SEIU Healthcare Missouri.)

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