Estelle Pendleton looks up at her daughter, Ruthe Gray, as they talk on their phones and visit through the window of Estelle’s room at Tall Pines in Belfast in April 2020. Tall Pines was among Maine's first long-term care facilities to experience a COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Maine’s assisted living facilities and nursing homes have been at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the state. They’ve accounted for nearly half of the state’s total COVID-19 death toll, and have been the sites of thousands of infections and some of the state’s largest virus outbreaks.

Those outbreaks have slowed but are still occurring, and we want to tell the story of what life is like inside nursing home walls as well as for family members on the outside.

Due to the logistical and health constraints presented by the pandemic, the story of the thousands of Mainers living in nursing homes has primarily been told through data. Rarely have Bangor Daily News reporters had the chance to interact with the people directly affected by the pandemic: nursing home residents and their families.

We are looking to speak to the family members of people who have lived in long-term care facilities since March 2020. If you or your loved one would like to discuss your experience, please share your contact information and a BDN reporter will be in touch.