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Our View: Nursing home study welcomed

The St. Louis County Board is making the right move in forming a task force to decide what to do about Nopeming and Chris Jensen nursing homes. Nopeming in particular is facing major capital improvements. The building, built as a tuberculosis san...

The St. Louis County Board is making the right move in forming a task force to decide what to do about Nopeming and Chris Jensen nursing homes.
Nopeming in particular is facing major capital improvements. The building, built as a tuberculosis sanitarium, drains dollars because of its ancient design.
The task force has several options available to it, the least attractive of which is to do nothing.
Another is to close the facility. A third is to remodel Nopeming. A fourth is to build a new facility at the Nopeming site.
The task force first ought to set some guiding principles. One of those ought to be that whatever option is chosen will not be a permanent drain on the county's coffers, or at least that the county subsidy will be no more than a fixed amount.
The task force also needs to project what kind of elderly care it wants to provide in the future. Home health care is growing in popularity, and the county needs to determine a proper balance between that and nursing home care.
Nobody favors putting the patients in the street, but everyone should support a plan that provides quality care without draining millions from the county treasury.
The task force effort is worthy. The only way it will fail will be if, in the end, the county board determines that the status quo will have to do for a few more years.

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