Closing a community landmark

Jan 12, 2018
Sixty -Three Washington Street, Camden is closing after 120 years.

Camden — After serving the community’s aging seniors for nearly 120 years, Sixty -Three Washington Street, in Camden, is closing its doors. With a capacity for six residents, the board has struggled for the last three years to secure new residents in order to keep the facility alive. According to a press release, the current cultural emphasis on seniors aging at home, combined with the area’s other larger assisted living facilities with large diversified staff better equipped to absorb the numerous regulations and codes, led to the difficult decision to close.

The release stated that although the board explored providing beds for MaineCare recipients and obtained a provider number, MaineCare beds must be purchased from an existing facility that is closing or downsizing MaineCare services; each MaineCare bed is licensed at a cost of $10 to 15,000 at auction.

Built in 1898 by the Benevolence Society as the Camden Home for Aged Women, the First Congregational Church purchased the home in the 1980’s, for both men and women. In recent years, independently owned and managed by the Board of Directors, it became best known as the home of the late Kert “Waving Man” Ingraham, who would sit curbside and wave to passersby. Ingraham died in November 2016.

Over the last several years the Board of Directors updated the home’s six bedrooms and created two new activity and sitting rooms. In an effort to diversify, the Board made the decision to provide Adult Day Services. Initially permitted to take a small number of participants under the existing license, it was officially licensed to accept 10 participants a day in October, 2017. The release said that while this concept would appear to make sense, to provide seniors with activity, socialization, supervision and a home cooked meal, the practice of “aging in place” and the existence of six in-home agencies serving the mid-coast area, has limited the number of applicants. The board found it difficult to sustain a viable program with only a couple of participants per day.

The board said in the release it was with heavy hearts that they decided to close Sixty -Three Washington Street as a home for seniors.The statement said the future of the home is somewhat uncertain, but one  thing is known. The Board’s By-Laws require that any funds be used to address other Non Profits in the community. The Board has made the decision to sell the property and use the funds to help other non-profit needs in the area.

In the release, the board said, "Finally, a special thank you is extended to the community for the unfailing financial and emotional support that has sustained Sixty Three Washington Street these many years. There is a solid sense of community expressed that is invaluable in these changing times."

Recently donated funds are being used to maintain the home during the transition.

FMI: call 236-3638 and leave a message.















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