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      Families concerned as Cayuga County considers merging nursing homes

      Some big changes could be on the way for nursing homes in Cayuga County.

      County officials are considering a merger between the Cayuga County Nursing Home and Mercy Health & Rehabilitation in Auburn.

      They say Mercy was awarded a $19.9 million state grant that includes merging some of the county beds into Mercy to create a new entity.

      County Administrator Tom Squires says, right now, Mercy has 237 beds, and Cayuga County Nursing Home has about 80 beds. If Mercy has at least 300 beds, that would trigger a higher reimbursement rate.

      Squires says in these difficult financial times, this is something the county has to seriously consider.

      "It has everything to do with how we keep the skilled nursing beds in this community in a way that's financially viable," says Squires. "Mercy is losing a tremendous amount of money. The county nursing home is losing money, so what I would say is, we are trying to save the skilled nursing beds in this community."

      At Tuesday night's Cayuga County Legislature meeting, several Cayuga County Nursing Home employees shared their concerns about moving residents to Mercy.

      " I t's their home ," says Rose Roeschlaub, who works at Cayuga County Nursing Home . "They've already left their home that they've known for so many years. Now they've been living in a nursing home, and now they want to give that up. We're there every day. We're there every weekend. We work holidays."

      Marion Pesek says she's worried about her mother, Marion, who might have to move.

      "It's very hard to take somebody out of their home and put them in a nursing home to begin with," says Pesek. "Then, to think about having to do it twice, it's really awful."

      County officials have not made any final decisions, yet. They're waiting for more information from the state. Then, they will examine all the information and make a decision.

      Squires says they plan to meet with families at Cayuga County Nursing Home again sometime in October to provide them with more information.