Officials from Clarinda Mental Health have begun to transfer mentally ill senior citizens from the institution to private nursing homes.
The Des Moines Register newspaper reports that a spokeswoman for the state facility confirmed Wednesday that only about a dozen patients, who are considered to be some of the toughest cases the institution handles, will be affected.
The institute itself is scheduled to close July 1.
The Department of Human Services says that it is looking for safe placements for the senior citizens.
Patient advocates say most of the senior citizens in the program were placed in the institution because private facilities found them too difficult to handle.
Department spokeswoman Amy McCoy said that some of the transfers have taken place, but declined to say how many of the residents have been moved.