Local Nursing Home Provider Advocates For Elder Care in D.C.

March 30, 2022, noon ·

A blonde woman in a blue coat outside poses for a photo with trees and buildings in the background.
Christie Hinrichs is the president and CEO of Tabitha, a local nursing home provider with locations in southeast Nebraska. (Photo Courtesy of Tabitha)

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Nebraska’s older adults struggle to get the care they need. Nursing homes are closing or turning down patients because they don’t have enough staff. So this week, one local nursing home provider is in Washington, D.C. to advocate for them.

Many local nursing facilities like Tabitha had to temporarily close because of staffing issues. Closures lead to a pile up of patients in hospitals or people who don’t receive care, Tabitha CEO Christie Hinrichs said.

"Just last week, I received two calls from people that said, 'We're in the hospital. Hospital [is] telling us we need to be discharged, and we have no place to go," she said. "These are the kinds of calls I'm getting on a regular basis."

Hinrichs is on Capitol Hill with LeadingAge Nebraska, an association that represents older adult agencies, to advocate for immediate solutions to the aging services staffing issues. On Tuesday, they spoke with Rep. Don Bacon, Sen. Deb Fischer, and Sen. Ben Sasse about paying staff fairly, welcoming more immigrants to the country for work, and addressing the price gouging by staff agencies, who are doubling their rates.

"I've spent my entire life supporting and caring for and about older adults," she said. "And to watch this play out in front of you right now, as a result of lack of workforce is just overwhelming."

Born and raised in Callaway, in central Nebraska, Hinrichs has aging parents, and she wants to make sure all parents, like hers, receive the care they need.