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Nursing Home Closures

Nursing home closings can have serious negative effects on residents. Many residents experience transfer trauma (also referred to as relocation stress syndrome). The response to the stress caused by a transfer or relocation may include depression, manifesting as agitation; increase in withdrawn behavior; self-care deficits; falls; and weight loss. Closures, and these responses to the stress of moving are occurring nationwide, and may be due to the fact that the closure of nursing homes seems to be inadequately addressed in state and federal laws and regulations and/or poor oversight and monitoring by states and the federal government. When closures are inevitable, better policies and practices can be implemented to minimize the negative impact, including transfer trauma, on residents.

Nursing Home Closures Toolkit for Ombudsmen and Advocates



This toolkit (2017) includes materials that will be helpful to you if you are involved in a nursing home closing.  The toolkit is intended for use by Ombudsmen and advocates. Web versionPDF version

Webinars and Reports

 Successful Transitions: Reducing the Negative Impact of Nursing Home Closures

A report released in November 2016 by Consumer Voice found that major obstacles to a successful transition include lack of appropriate and nearby placements or providers who do not want to take a specific resident; poor discharge planning; and lack of communication and time to find new placements for residents. 


When Nursing Homes Close Webinar Series (2017-2018)

  1. What You Can Do - Recording, Slides

  2. Learn the Federal Rules - Recording, Slides

  3. Hear from Pilot States - Recording, Slides

State-Specific Information

State-Specific Information

State Projects to Improve Nursing Home Closures

The Consumer Voice worked with two states, Michigan and Tennessee, to improve their nursing home closure process.  Both states selected two recommendations to implement from Successful Transitions: Reducing the Negative Impact of Nursing Home Closures.  Michigan chose two work on: (1) committing to achieve a well-defined closure team and process and (2) ensuring the State Ombudsman is on the committee that reviews individual nursing home closure plans and is required to approve the closure plans.  Tennessee chose to implement the following two recommendations: (1) to develop a detailed and written relocation manual and (2) to achieve seamless transfers that minimize transfer trauma.  Click on the links below to view the work products from the newly formed relocation teams from both states


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