Committee wants nursing home, ammends Breslin's long-term care plan

Albany County officials are planning to introduce an amendment to County Executive Mike Breslin's long-term care plan which will include the construction of a nursing home campus with several facilities in the portion of Heritage Park that was purchased by the county last year.

Breslin's long-term care plan does not include the construction of a nursing home to replace the current Albany County Nursing Home-a facility that was opened in 1974. Instead, the plan includes eventually phasing out and closing the nursing home, moving current residents to other, private, nursing homes and replacing the county's nursing home beds with assisted living beds as per a recommendation in the state Budget.

Breslin's plan also includes many stay-at-home initiatives which he said will keep seniors living in their homes longer.

According to a draft of the resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader Frank Commisso, D-Albany, while the Special Nursing Home Facilities Committee, a committee of legislatures studying the nursing home and long-term care plans, embraces the stay-at-home concepts outlined in Breslin's plan, the committee would like the plan to be expanded to include the construction of a new nursing home at Heritage Park.

We continue to be of the opinion that long-term care in Albany County needs to include the replacement of the nursing home and want to have it included in the plan for future long-term care preparation, the resolution draft reads.

When asked why Breslin's plan did not include enough to cover the needs of those who take advantage of long-term care, Commisso said, "His plan lacks. It's a shallow plan."

One of Commisso's primary concerns was that of the current residents of the county nursing home.

"If we take and close down our nursing home, there's 231 people left out there," he said. "Who's going to pick them up? It's not something you can just pull the plug on."

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