Amid the state budget crisis, two dozen elderly residents were uprooted from their homes. A skilled nursing center in Wynnewood closed its doors after the operator said costs continue to rise and funding for the state's Medicaid program continues to fall.
“There’s nothing worse than having to look in the eye of a resident whose lived somewhere for years and tell them their home is closing,” said Marilyn Yeakley, administrator of the Wynnewood Care Center.
Yeakley said that was the heartbreaking reality for 24 residents this week, like Gay Lynne Vincent.
“The place in Wynnewood, I was pretty happy,” Vincent said.
Residents were told they could no longer live in the Wynnewood Care Center because its doors would close.
“Over the last few years, none of the reimbursement for our Medicaid residents, which are 99 percent of our residents, have increased,” Yeakley said. “It’s either stayed stagnant or we’ve had a cut in our provider reimbursement. So now in the legislature this week, we’re looking at another four percent cut. And little buildings like Wynnewood Care Center just can’t afford to stay open.”
According to a press release, they were able to find employees other jobs and residents homes. Yeakley said they were moved to facilities in Pauls Valley, Wewoka and Purcell.
But the move is still a disruption, officials said.
“The first night here I couldn’t sleep real well because it was a new place and all,” Vincent told News 9.
And some like Steve Scott are now further from their family members and friends. “I knew everyone in town,” he said about Wynnewood.
“I know they sit behind a desk and they’re number crunching, but they need to think about the affect they’re having on the decisions that they make,” Yeakley explained.