Hughes Health & Rehabilitation in West Hartford, which was family-owned for over 50 years. Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

Your April article about the closing of West Hartford’s Hughes Health & Rehab hit close to home; my home, my mom.

Rita had moved to Hughes this past January because of their well-known exemplary care. Selling her West Hartford home after almost 60 years and moving to a skilled nursing facility was a tremendous transition. However, my dear friend is the director of admissions at Hughes and it gave me much comfort knowing that Elizabeth would be keeping an eye on my mom. 

Being a director of nursing in long term care for the past 20 years and a nurse for almost 40 years, I know all too well the devastation that has come to fruition with the closing of Hughes. 

The staff truly treat each other and the residents like family. Their compassion is genuine. Many have spent the majority of their careers there. Now, they are forging along, continuing to come in each day with a smile, to care for the residents who have not yet been plucked from what had become their home.

All the staff need to think about their next career move while in the midst of chaos. I was there with mom when Sam Flaxman and the Department of Public Health gave the devastating news about Hughes’ closing. Since then, life has been a whirlwind. 

I moved my mom, yet again, to Avery Heights in Hartford with help from the Hughes staff — especially Elizabeth, who physically helped us move Mom and her belongings. 

It feels like those of us in long term care have been able to finally take a breath after the fall out of the pandemic, and not live in daily fear of COVID. But now, our elders are in jeopardy of losing their second homes in long term care. 

There needs to be a more humane way of doing this. The community needs to come together to support our elderly and understand how traumatic this loss is. 

Bonni Lapp Horwitz, MSN, RN, lives in Bloomfield.