Opposition expressed to proposed Rose Haven closure
The future of Rose Haven Ltd. on North Street in Litchfield is in the hands of the state Department of Social Services, which is considering a request to close the facility. BZ photos
Opposition to a request by Apple Rehab to close its Rose Haven Ltd. rest home and skilled nursing facility in Litchfield was overhelming during a public hearing held by the state Department of Social Services on Friday.
Apple Rehab, citing nearly $1 million in financial losses at Rose Haven over the past three years, is asking DOSS to grant its request to close the landmark at 33 North St., where scores of local residents have lived or have spent time recovering from health issues.
Rose Haven is one of 22 facilities Apple Rehab owns in Connecticut. There are 29 individuals currently in the facility, most of them being elderly long-term care patients. The individuals would have to find new places to live if DOSS grants Apple Rehab's request.
According to DOSS officials who spoke at the hearing held at Rose Haven, it could take up to three months for the department to rule on the request.
Apple Rehab attorney Christopher Shelton said the company has tried hard to make Rose Haven viable but the mounting financial losses have led to the request for closure. Declining Medicare and insurance reimbursements, Shelton said, are at the root of the fiscal woes.
Several Rose Haven residents spoke at the hearing and urged DOSS to reject the request, saying Rose Haven is a place with an exceptional staff and level of care, a place where they are comfortable and don't want to leave. Others commenting either have or have had family members in Rose Haven and praised the level of care in the facility.
"Rose Haven is part of the community," said Mike Ackerman of Litchfield, whose parents spent time there. "Rose Haven administers healing care and keeps families together."
Ackerman also rehabilitated at Rose Haven after a double hip replacement.
"The level of care was amazing," he said. "There has to be some way it can stay open."
DOSS, according to hearing officer Richard Wysocki, will consider comments made during the hearing as it weighs Apple Rehab's request.
Apple Rehab, Shelton said, will continue to deliver a high level of care at Rose Haven while DOSS considers the request which, if granted, would trigger the formation of a transition team that would help residents and their families find facilities to move to.
Richard Wysocki, a hearing officer for the state Department of Social Services, left, listens to comments from Mike Ackerman of Litchfield.
Richard Wysocki calls on a speaker during the hearing.
Angie Coleman of Litchfield reads her comments on the proposed closure.
Apple Rehab was represented during the hearing by its attorney, Christopher Shelton.
Maria Painter, a long-term care ombudsman for the DOSS explains her role in the process.