Farren Care Center closing ‘tip of the iceberg’ for Massachusetts nursing homes, legislator says

TURNERS FALLS — The closing of Farren Care Center here by year’s end and the transfer of its patients to Mount Saint Vincent in Holyoke is indicative of a much larger problem facing long-term care facilities in Massachusetts, according to a state legislator.

“Nursing homes were in crisis before the pandemic and have now been thrown off a cliff,” state Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, said. “I fear Farren and Mount Saint Vincent are the tip of the iceberg of a potential crisis we are going to see at long-term care facilities, congregate care facilities, nursing homes across the state.”

An added concern for Western Massachusetts residents is geographical access as independent nursing homes that serve rural disadvantaged populations close or are consolidated into larger systems, he said.

“You could end up with a situation in Western Massachusetts where families in rural areas have to drive an hour and hour and

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