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UPDATE: Market conditions contribute to River Falls' nursing home's closure

A letter has been sent this week to River Falls Mayor Dan Toland informing him and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that the Lutheran Home, 640 N. Main St., will close.

A news release Friday, Dec. 9, from The Lutheran Home Association's Belle Plaine, Minn., headquaters gave this reason:

“The decision was made after a thorough analysis of the changing market place in the River Falls and Hudson area. Trends indicate seniors have a strong desire to remain independent as long as possible and the demand for skilled nursing care has decreased in this region.”

According to a letter from Beth Wadsley, human resources director for the Lutheran Home Association, the closing process in River Falls began Tuesday, Dec. 6, and will end with total closure in mid- to late-February.

The local nursing home employs 62 people. Almost all will lose their jobs.

WelLHaven, an assisted living facility next door to the Lutheran Home, will remain open.

“Closing the skilled nursing facility in River Falls was an extremely difficult decision for our ministry leaders,” said Michael Klatt, chief executive officer and president of The Lutheran Home Association. “The health care sector is experiencing drastic changes in the skilled nursing market place.

"Our quality Christian care will not change during the transition. We are committed to our residents, family members and team members.”