Community reacts to Therapy & Learning Center closing
JACKSON, Tenn. — A huge outcry of parents and patients are wondering why a local therapy and learning center is permanently closing.
“If I don’t have this, then I don’t have nowhere else to go,” said Nicholas Brantley, who has been a patient at the Therapy & Learning Center since 2014.
West Tennessee Healthcare announced on May 18 that its Therapy & Learning Adult Day Program would be closing its doors permanently on July 1.
It is a decision many say will soon leave employees without a job and patients wondering where to go next.
“We have to depend on this place because some of the patients that go here, this is all they got as far as a day program to go to. There’s no other program in Jackson to go to,” Brantley said.
He says, like other patients, this is all he’s known Monday through Friday each week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“This is like a home. This is like our second home. We’re here more than we’re at our regular houses. This is like my second family. This is where all my friends go. It’s tough when you make friends, and you’re about to lose them,” Brantley said.
Cindy Sellars’ daughter is non-verbal and cannot walk.
Sellars says attending the center has helped her daughter receive all of her needed therapy, as well as learn how to communicate through the Tobii device.
She is left not knowing where to send her daughter to get the full-time care she requires as she and her husband work full-time.
“Memphis or Nashville are the next spots. I’m not sending her away that far, but it’s just that now we’re going to have to look for somebody that will come and sit with a disabled adult,” Sellars said.
West Tennessee Healthcare released a statement saying the reason for closing is increasing operational costs without an increase in funding:
“The Therapy & Learning Center has provided high-quality, compassionate care to the community through the Adult Day Program since 2008. It has been an incredible privilege to serve our clients during this time. Over the past five years, the Center has worked very hard to keep the adult day program open even as others across the state have closed. During the pandemic in 2020, a necessary restructuring of the program allowed the Center to remain open for business for the past two years. However, over that time, increasing operational costs without an increase in funding has led to significant and unsustainable operating losses that cannot be overcome at this time. For this reason, it is with sincere regret that we will be closing the Adult Day Program permanently on Friday, July 1, 2022. We will be working with our clients and their TennCare case managers over the next several weeks to ensure a timely and efficient transition of services to another service provider.”
Sellars says that’s not a good enough reason.
“I think they’re just trying to tell you what you want to hear. So I really think that they ought to reconsider,” Sellars said. “They could look at other options besides closing down a day program for adults when they get out of school that have nowhere else to go.”
West Tennessee Healthcare says they are working with their clients and their TennCare case managers over the next several weeks to ensure a timely and efficient transition of services to another service provider.
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