SCARBOROUGH — Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution and P&C Insurance have donated $150,000 to Hospice of Southern Maine’s effort to build a $5.75 million hospice center on Route 1 in Scarborough.

Construction will begin in May and coincide with the public kickoff of a capital campaign to build the 15,000-square-foot center at 390 Route 1, between The Holy Donut and The Big 20 Bowling Center. It will replace two leased office spaces at 180 and 136 Route 1.

With more Mainers growing older and taking charge of their end-of-life care, the planned hospice center will address growing demand for hospice care in southern Maine, especially at home.

Maine’s population is now solidly the oldest in the nation, with the highest median age of 44.7 years – meaning the younger population is dwindling – and tied, with Florida and Montana, for the largest proportion of residents age 65 and older – 19 percent of the state’s 1.3 million people, according to the U.S. Census.

“The new Scarborough hospice center will give aging and terminally ill Mainers additional home-based healthcare options,” said Josh Fearon, president of P&C Insurance. “We believe in the importance of Hospice of Southern Maine’s mission and the necessity to expand their extraordinary care to Mainers who seek compassion and comfort through end of life.”

The hospice center will serve as the central hub for clinical teams – nurses, social workers and others – who visit about 200 patients daily, up from about 130 patients daily just three years ago.

In 2017, Hospice of Southern Maine cared for at total of 1,641 patients – a 2 percent increase over the previous year, according to the nonprofit’s annual report. While some of that care was provided at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, an 18-bed inpatient facility on Hunnewell Road, the vast majority was provided in patients’ homes, helping to fulfill the wish of many to die at home.

“We are incredibly grateful to Saco & Biddeford Savings and P&C Insurance for their early, generous support of the campaign,” said Daryl Cady, CEO at Hospice of Southern Maine. “They have supported our growth for many years. We are just amazed at their commitment to high-quality hospice care, and to helping Mainers when they need it most.”

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