At least 23 nursing homes in Wisconsin have closed or announced closures since 2020, including 10 last year, according to LeadingAge Wisconsin.
They include Zimmerman Nursing Home in Reedsburg, Woods Crossing at Woods Point in Brodhead, Bethel Home in Viroqua, Bloomfield Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center near Dodgeville, Aspirus Tivoli Community in Portage, Epione Pavilion in Cuba City and Fairhaven Senior Services in Whitewater, which announced its closure this year.
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A state directory in January lists 342 nursing homes, down from 397 in 2016, a decrease of about 13.8%. Owners often attribute the closures to staffing shortages, financial challenges and aging facilities.
Part of the reason for the decrease in nursing homes has been an increase in demand for assisted living, which is less regulated and generally used by people who have fewer medical needs. But the number of assisted-living facilities in the state started to decline in 2021 after steady increases in previous years, even as Wisconsin’s population of older adults is expected to continue to rise.
Wisconsin had 26,971 nursing home beds last year, down from 31,321 in 2018, according to the state Department of Health Services. That is a decrease of about 13.9%, or a loss of nearly 1 in 7 beds.
The state had 59,792 assisted-living beds last year, down from 64,057 in 2021 (a decrease of about 6.6%) and about the same as in 2018.