Following the closure of two nursing homes in the midcoast, Pen Bay Healthcare, the Midcoast community healthcare network, is taking steps to help area families access resources and information about long-term care for their elderly relations.
"The closings of the Shore Village and Fieldcrest Manor facilities, owned by Kindred Healthcare, a for-profit corporation based in Louisville, Kentucky, have created a real challenge for our community," said Bob McKeown, executive director, Knox Center for Long Term Care in Rockland and Quarry Hill Retirement Community in Camden. "As individuals and families attempt to access long-term care, they may find they're having to make more than one call or apply for a spot on a waiting list. We recognize that care within a person's community is almost always the most desired outcome and we want to do all we can to facilitate that."
Knox Center is an 84-bed long-term care facility. Quarry Hill's long-term care facility has 39 beds. Both offer specialized care for people with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of memory loss.
To help area families access information and find the long-term care resources they need, Pen Bay Healthcare is creating a web-based information center, listing agencies, support groups and other resources for the elderly in the community. This information center will be updated regularly. Those who prefer can call 594-6800, at the Knox Center, and 230-6100 at Quarry Hill to ask questions or have a list of resources mailed to them.
The special online list can be found at penbayhealthcare.org/community.
According to McKeown, planning ahead is one of the most important things families need to remember as they deal with an elderly loved one. "Communication with doctors and other caregivers is key. We find that families of dementia or Alzheimer's patients tend to wait for a crisis. While that is never a good idea, the current climate emphasizes the need to plan ahead," McKeown said.
"We will be in touch with the community again, to provide updates and additional information," he said.