Hampered by pandemic, Jo Daviess County assisted-living facility to close

ELIZABETH, Ill. — Months after closing its nursing home, a senior housing facility in Elizabeth announced it will close its assisted-living center as well.

The Grand View Estates Board of Directors recently voted to close the assisted-living facility effective Feb. 20. The board closed its nursing home in April, citing an inability to pay expenses for the facility.

Board President Marvin Wurster said the assisted-living facility will close for similar reasons. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grand View Estates had 19 residents at the facility. That total has since dwindled to nine.

“If anyone comes into the facility during the pandemic, they can’t leave and quarantine is strict,” Wurster said. “A lot of people don’t want to deal with that. They are just living with their families instead.”

Wurster said Grand View Estates received financial aid from the state during the pandemic, but it still cannot balance the books with just nine residents.

“We would need 18 just to break even,” he said.

The 10 employees still at the facility now are focused on transferring the remaining residents to other facilities. Wurster said a clinic connected to the Grand View Estates building will remain open.

Prior to the pandemic, Wurster said, the assisted-living facility was operating optimally, having a waiting list even some years.

“The pandemic has really hurt us,” Wurster said. “We can’t get anybody to move in.”

Elizabeth Mayor Mike Dittmar said the closure will be a major hit to the community that will now need to look out of town for assisted-living services.

“Now, your loved ones will have to travel farther if they want to see you,” he said. “It’s not good. It’s really unfortunate.”

Wurster said the board is exploring what future options exist for the Grand View Estates building, including leasing portions to other businesses or finding a potential buyer for the property.

Dittmar said he hopes a larger assisted-living company can take over the building.