Creating a care system that works for all Mainers

It’s time for a care system that promotes freedom and independence for our elderly and Mainers with disabilities. Maine has the oldest population in the nation, and as our loved ones age, many find it difficult to live independently at home without the support of in-home care. But with the cost of full-time home care estimated to be $54,000 per year, too many seniors and Mainers with disabilities can’t afford to to get the care they need at home and are often forced to spend down their life savings to qualify for care or are placed into nursing facilities, far away from families.

We believe that Maine can do more to support seniors and people with disabilities to allow them to live independently and age in their homes as well as support the workers who make that care possible.

That’s why MPA is launching a campaign for Universal In-Home Care. This policy will ensure that Maine seniors and people with disabilities can access the care they need by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy. It will invest in critical care jobs, support family caregivers and give our friends and family members the freedom to live and age independently in their homes.

  • Provide universal in-home care: Every person who needs in-home and community support services (often known as home care) will receive resources. The benefit will be universal: everyone in Maine with a care need will be eligible.

 

  • Investing in direct care workers to grow our economy: The current shortage in direct care workers is a result of inadequate wages, training and benefits. This universal in-home care program recognizes that we must improve the job quality of the direct care profession by raising wages for care workers, which will also recruit talented caregivers to work newly-created care jobs.

 

Click here to read more about the policy.

  
The current system of care, where people must spend down their resources to be eligible for Medicaid or have access to personal wealth to meet the rising costs of care, is broken and unfair. Mainers are too often facing the difficult choice of remaining in the workforce or providing unpaid care for their aging loved ones. At the same time, homecare workers in Maine are often faced with long hours, low-pay and a lack of benefits, making it challenging to recruit and retain workers, and making it far too difficult for these workers to provide for their own families.

Universal home care is a bold step forward in supporting caregivers and families, and in asserting our state’s values of care and community. We’re taking this issue to the ballot in 2018 because Maine families can’t wait any longer, but we need your help to make it happen.