Nursing homes in New York City’s Bronx and Queens have been closed in recent years because of the outbreak, but Briarwood Nursing Home is the only one still operating.
Its owners say they are not letting go of what they say is a vital part of their community.
“Our nursing home is a beacon for our community, and we will always be a part of it,” said Mary Ainsworth, the nursing home’s executive director.
“The way we have to look at it, is we have a place where we want to be, and it is the best place to be.”
Briarwoods nursing home was a destination for nursing homes and families alike until the outbreak.
The facility has served thousands of people in the Bronx and the Bronx borough of New York since the late 1980s, and its closure would be a blow to nursing homes nationwide.
Briarswood, located in Briarwoods, New York, is the last remaining nursing home in the borough of Bronx, according to the New York State Department of Health.
Nursing homes like BriarWood have been closing across the country because of concerns over how the pandemic will impact them, but Ainswill said BriarFalls is unique in its role as a community hub and an incubator for new health care innovations.
“We are a place of healing, a place to support, a way to connect, a home for families who have experienced the devastation of the pandemics,” she said.
“There are many, many other places that are struggling, but we are unique in being able to be the place to really put those pieces together.”
It’s a long road to recoveryThe city has struggled with nursing homes closing for decades because of spiraling bills and other challenges.
In 2015, the state shut down nursing homes across the state and some counties, such as Brooklyn and Queens, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
It also closed hospitals, which is what happened in New Jersey and Virginia in the wake of the flu pandemic.
In the Bronx, the last nursing home closed in 2008 after the outbreak devastated the borough.
It reopened only in 2017 and was replaced by a nursing home owned by a private family.
It’s not uncommon for nursing home owners to shut down their facilities as they struggle to survive, according the city.
BriarFs closed its doors in 2016, just as the pandes arrived.
But this time, the city said, they will have a chance to reopen.
The city’s Department of Community Health and Mental Hygiene announced last month that it is opening up new facilities in the next several weeks.
It plans to expand services for those with disabilities, including a home that is staffed by individuals with disabilities.