North Country Associates, the owner of Sonogee Rehabilitation and Living Center in Bar Harbor announced that the facility would close by April 26, 2019.

Mary Jane Richards, the Chief Operating Officer of North Country Associates issued the following press release Monday night, February 25th.

"North Country Associates, owner of Sonogee Rehabilitation and Living Center, announces the closing of the facility. Today is a sad day for the Sonogee and North Country Associates’ family, for the Bar Harbor community, for the residents of our nursing and assisted living center and for the employees who have cared for so many community members throughout the years”.

Sonogee Rehabilitation and Living Center began providing care for area seniors in the early 80’s and it has been owned and operated by North Country Associates since that time.

The decision to close the facility was made after carefully considering all other options.  Many factors played a role in this decision including the inability to maintain an adequate average daily occupancy necessary for sustained viability.  This issue has been compounded by the MDI Hospital Swing Bed program, which directly decreased our admissions.  In addition, the minimum wage increase, coupled with the competition from the hospitality industry has hampered our ability to recruit and retain the necessary number of staff people to provide quality care.

The Department of Health and Human Services has approved the closure and is working with Sonogee’s representatives on relocation plans for the residents who reside in the building. Sonogee’s employees, Department of Health and Human Services staff and the local long term care ombudsman will be assisting residents and family members choose new housing and care options.

Informational meetings for families and residents have been scheduled. We know the decision to close is equally hard for the employees.  There are neighbor facilities that have several staff openings and we hope all the area nursing homes will work together to find alternative employment for all 58 employees of Sonogee.

The current plan is to cease all operations and close the building by April 26, 2019."