Putting a family member in a nursing home is a tough decision many will face at some point in their lifetime.
So, imagine being told without any warning the state is shutting down that nursing home and uprooting your loved one.
The South Dakota Department of Health suspended the license of the Hudson Healthcare Center for repeated deficiencies it said threaten the health and safety of its residents. While the owner and staff said they gave good care, and the residents were like family.
It basically feels like you're losing your grandma and grandpa. It feels like, they're, you know you've had them here for so long. One day, oh, they're gone, and you're never going to see them again said one staff member.
For the staff at Hudson Healthcare Center, this was more than just a job.
Heather, another staff member added "if I didn't like my job, I wouldn't be here and to me, it's all about the residents, the paycheck's just a bonus."
The staff is sad to lose their jobs, and it's sad for them seeing the residents leave.
"A lot of tears, it's very sad to see them go. They're very scared. They don't want to move. People have been here for years, you know, we have to tell them, I'm sorry, you have to leave, so, it's really hard," said dietician Misty Holstein.
For nursing home owner Joe Ward who runs the business with his wife, it was especially difficult.
Hudson Healthcare Center owner Joe Ward said "It's killing us, my wife and I were in the office crying a lot, she's been involved with this place for 18 years. I personally owned it and have been a partial owner for 9 years. It's like, watching our family leave, like a death in our family."
The South Dakota Department of Health ordered an immediate shutdown, citing repeated deficiencies.
Ward says he has dedicated his life to the nursing home and is asking family and friends for support. "We're having friends and family, whoever can send us a letter of support, we're accepting them because basically that help will make our case too," Ward said.
"We're not bad caregivers, it makes us look like, smell like and feel like we gave bad care here, we did not. There was no deficiencies that even granted this," Ward said.
KSFY News spoke with some family members who said they were notified to come and pick up their loved ones, and others who happened to find out only by accident upon visiting the home today. The state asked family members where they would like to move their relatives. It worked with the Department of Social Services to relocate all of the residents to other homes in the area.
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