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Mike Breslin unveils long-term care plan

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin announced Thursday, Sept. 10, a plan to phase out the Albany County Nursing Home and move to offer assisted living and programs that would allow the elderly to live in their own homes or in private nursing homes.

Breslin told a crowd of seniors at the Watervliet Senior Citizen Center that he has been working for a number of years on bringing services to those who so desperately need it. That effort included the development of a long-term care council, he said, which worked together with many other organizations to come up with possible solutions to the long-term care needs of county residents.

Surrounded by representatives from The Eddy, Capital Partners, Senior Whole Health, Our Community of Aging and Community Caregivers, Breslin told the crowd of the declining need for nursing homes, proclaiming that, "no one wants to be in a nursing home," but, unfortunately, "some of us may someday need to be in a nursing home."

Currently, Breslin said there are about 230 residents in the county nursing home, which has the capacity for 250, following a recommendation by the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, also known as the Berger Commission.

Breslin also told the crowd that county taxpayers are currently responsible for subsidizing the residents at a cost of more than $80,000 per resident per year. In total, the nursing home, which was opened in 1974, costs about $18 million per year to operate, he said.

"We don't really need to build a [new] nursing home, and we avoid that expense," he said.

His solution, which is included in his plan, is to place those residents who are qualified as "hard to place," who are normally placed in nursing homes, in other private nursing homes located within or outside of the county.

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