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Families forced to find new long term care facility after policy changes

A Chenoa retirement community is withdrawing from the Medicaid program, leaving local families with the task of finding new long term care for their loved ones.

“I kind of felt defeated I think I was like oh my gosh we just put him there and they said they could take care of him,” Normal resident Kathie Swibaker said.

Swibaker moved her father to Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community in June but will now have to relocate him because of the facility changing its policies.

“They said that they were not getting the reimbursement they were expecting I guess and they couldn’t continue to go that route and continue to have quality care for the people that are there,” she explained.

Her husband Bob Swibaker says this change is a trend that will likely continue as more baby boomers retire.

“They know that there is not going to be room for everyone unless you can pay. They’re not going to take in all these people on Medicaid because they’ll go under,” he said.

The couple would take Kathie’s father in themselves but his dementia and medical needs would be hard to manage and they cannot afford to pay out of pocket.

“It’s kind of like at the point where I don’t have a lot of choices that I might have to I would hate to think to settle for whoever would take him and that doesn’t seem fair,” Kathie Swibaker said.

This experience has taught the pair the importance of planning for long term care.

“It’s in every person’s future unless you die. So that’s your option,” Bob Swibaker said.

In a letter from the facility that the Swibakers showed us it says they will assist families in finding someplace new which accepts Medicaid.

Heart of Illinois ABC reached out to Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community for comment but did not hear back.

Stephanie Rodriguez

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