The Fountain Springs Health Care Center in Rapid City has seen an increase in disabled senior citizens; namely patients that have suffered from strokes, injuries and other debilitating issues.
This is a trend throughout Rapid City. According to a study released by the Black Hills Knowledge Network, the disability rate among people over 65 has gone from the lowest in the state to the highest.
Fountain Springs Administrator Mary Sateren says she thinks the higher rates are due to a growing and aging population. "We see people with a higher level of disabilities. We have people that come with complex heart attacks and have broken a hip so we try to make them have a safe transition home so we have a lot of therapy involved and different skills of the nurses," said Sateren.
Sateren says that they usually have around six register nurses on duty when state regulations only requires one, because of the needed help with the patients.
The rest of South Dakota has seen a nearly steady number of seniors with disabilities.