Bluffton nursing home closes its doors two weeks early

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BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) — A nursing home in Bluffton has officially closed it’s doors – two weeks earlier than planned.

On Nov. 2 Signature HealthCARE announced plans on closing its assisted living facility in Bluffton within approximately 60 days according to a news release from the Louisville, Kentucky-based company. It was located at 1529 West Lancaster Street in Bluffton.

However, the facility closed early, two weeks early.

Traces of the former facility are gone. The name has been removed from the sign that sits near the front of the building and the windows have been boarded up.

An official notice was published in the Bluffton News-Banner. According to the notice Signature HealthCare of Bluffton voluntarily stopped providing services effective Nov. 16. The notice did not say what had become of facility staff, where residents would be transferred to or if the building would be put up for sale.

After the company announced the closure WANE 15 called area nursing and retirement facilities in Wells County. All but one facility said they had openings and would be taking in residents of Signature Care.

In November, Signature cited declining occupancy levels as well as challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic as contributing to the decision to close. The company said low occupancy levels can “add a sense of isolation and loneliness” to residents and there are no signs occupancy levels will go up in the near future.

According to a consumer report from the Indiana State Department of Health Division of Long Term Care in October of the 34 facilities, only 51 beds were in use. Over the past year WANE 15 learned that the facility received three complaints. The complaints surround the facility’s care of patients. However, state records show that they were dismissed to ‘lack of evidence.’

Signature still has facilities in Fort Wayne and Muncie.

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