Craig Courts

An Ann Arbor, MI, senior care facility has announced that it will be reconfiguring its operations significantly due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The changes offer a vivid example of how the pandemic is forcing the industry to reshape itself, observers say.

Officials at Glacier Hills, a facility in the St. Joseph Mercy Senior Communities network, said that of its 105 licensed skilled nursing beds, 44 will become part of assisted living units and 17 will be decertified. The other 44 beds will remain skilled nursing. Residents currently using beds slated for decertification will have until Dec. 31 to find new residences, Glacier Hills President Craig Courts told

The community also will be vacating the campus’ long-term care building, and each facility’s services will be prioritized for the use of existing residents as they develop the need for more intensive health services, officials told the news outlet. 

In April, 11 residents and four staff members at the facility tested positive for COVID-19, and one resident died from the virus. Courts said the pandemic has led to a decreased demand for skilled nursing care, with more people now choosing to receive services at home.

“Glacier Hills has a surplus of skilled nursing care and assisted living beds, and the facility’s capacity far exceeds the needs of its resident population,” he said.