PITTSFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Maine's roughly 100 nursing homes will get an additional $13.1 million dollars in funding this year. Governor Paul LePage announced Thursday that his administration is moving forward with a plan that doesn't require the Legislature's approval after weeks of wrangling with Democrats over funding for the facilities.
However, even with this additional funding, one nursing home still won't be able to keep from closing, causing families of those in the home's care to struggle to find alternatives.
Pittsfield Rehab and Nursing is the only nursing home in the immediate area around Pittsfield. It's a small facility, but it was home to many loved ones of local families. Now, due to lack of funding, the nursing home will close in September, leaving those families in a panic.
Carol Saunders of Plymouth is the daughter of Pittsfield Rehab and Nursing resident, Marion McCallum. Saunders says having a pleasant, clean facility so close to her and her five siblings who all live within 10 miles was a perfect fit. Even more important, McCallum was happy there. Now Saunders and the rest of the family are struggling to find another elderly care facility close by. But she says there are very few openings and the waiting list for many is about six to eight months. The pressure has been heavy on both the family.. and their mother.
"It's been extremely stressful. She's been calling us, like, constant, crying, just so upset, ' what's going to happen? Everybody's leaving here. I'm one of the last people here. Where am I going to go? What's going to happen?'" said Saunders of her mother, McCallum.
Saunders says her family is very close and they visit their mother in the nursing home every day. She says they might have to move her mother to a facility much further away than any of them wants, which will be a physical and emotional strain on McCallum and her children.