A local veteran is feeling the effects of a fairly new executive order signed earlier this year by the President which raises the wages of federal workers, causing many private nursing homes to abandon their contracts with the Veterans Administration (VA).
Howard Collins, a local WWII veteran in his nineties, was recently given a 90-day notice to vacate his current residency in South Hampton Nursing Home, a private nursing home located in Columbia.
“When various members of our family contacted the Veterans Administration, we were all told the same thing: Due to the Executive Order signed by the President in February 2014, raising the minimum wage of federal workers, many private nursing homes will not be extending their federal contracts, as they are unable to afford to pay the increased wages required by the contract,” explained Collins’s daughter, Stacey Bibb. “If these nursing homes simply increased their prices for everyone else to offset the additional expense, that would result in the displacement of other elderly residents.”
This announcement left Collins and his family with few options and little idea of where to turn.
“Dad has been a resident of his current nursing home, a private nursing home that contracts with the VA, for over two years,” Bibb said.
Fortunately, the nursing home has a social worker on staff who offered to help the Collins family complete all the necessary paperwork to have him admitted to another facility.