BAR HARBOR — The Don & Beth Straus Center was opened in 2009 to provide day respite and support for caregivers. The day program served nearly 100 members but closed abruptly in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
Plans are underway to reopen the program this fall.
As a member of the Mount Desert Island Hospital organization, the Straus Center originally opened at the Community Health Center in Southwest Harbor and moved to the Birch Bay Retirement Village in Hulls Cove in 2015.
Program members benefit from an activity program, snacks and a noon meal, medication administration, music therapy and a social experience. Additionally, family caregivers are supported and offered resources to help them meet the demands of their lives and by sharing care for their loved ones.
“Reopening the Straus Program is an important step in moving back into normal life at Birch Bay. The Birch Bay Village campus continues to be a home to close to 100 residents but it’s also a part of our mission to serve older adults who still desire to continue to live at home. When we closed our doors in March 2020, families were really challenged to find in-home care. Caregivers continue to be difficult to find and we are so grateful for the opportunity to serve island families through this program,” said Birch Bay’s Executive Director Peter Sullivan.