Sen. Luchini, Rep. McDonald issue statement regarding the Island Nursing Home in Deer Isle
AUGUSTA – On Monday, Island Nursing Home and Care Center in Deer Isle announced that they would be permanently closing their doors on Oct. 26, citing workforce and affordable housing shortages. Sen. Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth, and Rep. Genevieve McDonald, D-Stonington, released the following statements in response to this announcement:
“The news from Island Nursing Home is devastating for residents, for staff, and for our entire community. This news is especially disheartening after all that our nursing homes have endured for the past year and a half,” said Sen. Luchini. “Unfortunately, this is the result of workforce and affordable housing issues that have been building in our community, in our state, and across the country for years. I’m working closely with Gov. Janet Mills and with the Island Nursing Home team to find creative solutions to these problems, and to support residents and staff as much as we can during this difficult time.”
“Since the news of Island Nursing Home’s closure announcement came out, I have been working with members of the community to respond,” said Rep. McDonald, House chair of the Government Oversight Committee. “Staffing shortages, the housing crunch and the pandemic played a major role in this difficult development, and we will all work as hard as we can to address those shortfalls and attempt to prevent a final closure, which could leave staff without jobs and residents with no place to go. We know that seniors in need of nursing home care do best when they can stay in their communities and have friends and family nearby. While I am unhappy about the lack of notice and lead time all of us have been given, what matters now is making sure residents remain safe and receive the housing and care they need.”
Since 2012, 12 nursing homes have closed their doors in Maine, making the closure of the Island Nursing Home and Care Center in Deer Isle the 13th in less than decade. This year, the Legislature made significant investments in long-term care facilities, direct care workers and efforts to increase Maine’s long-term care workforce. Lawmakers hope that these investments will help other long-term care facilities continue to provide good-paying jobs, offer quality care for residents, and remain in the community.