Families have less than one month to find new long-term care facilities for 22 residents of a Penobscot County nursing home, which is closing its doors Sept. 1.
In a prepared statement, the management of Mountain Heights Care Facility in Patten said that declining occupancy and MaineCare rates, in addition to a recent increase in the minimum wage, are the primary reasons for the closure.
Patten Town Manager Raymond Foss said the region will be hard hit.
"I know some of the residents, ladies, and I know their husbands who are not in the nursing home yet, do visit them daily," Foss said. "I heard one gentleman visits breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I can't imagine what kind of an upheaval there would be in those families."
Foss also said that he's not sure where residents will go.
"The nearest nursing home, and I believe the one in Millinocket, is at full occupancy,” he said. “The next nearest ones are in Houlton, so that's a 76-mile gap between Millinocket and Houlton, which won't have a nursing home if this one closes, that's a big catchment area when you think about it.”
The closure will also displace the 53 employees at the facility.