It seems as though family members take on the great responsibility of caring for older relatives, but the costs that the caregiver endures financially, mentally and emotionally have seemingly gone undiscussed. It is encouraging to see that neither the Portland Press Herald nor AARP Maine is satisfied with being ranked 10th in the nation and recognize that so much still needs to be done to support caregivers in our state.
A friend of mine is currently in the position of needing to find a caregiver, which has proven to be no easy task. She needs someone to come in at night to assist her but, so far, has not found a reliable caregiver willing to do the job. It is hard on both my friend and her family to rely on relatives for care, but she has no other options.
Her relatives, and caregivers in similar situations, sacrifice so much to care for their loved ones and receive very little support.
The editorial brought up a good point when it mentioned the Family Medical Leave Act, which guarantees employees a certain amount of unpaid leave for elder care, but who can afford to go without a paycheck these days?
I hope legislators and policymakers will take notice of this crucial issue so we can begin supporting the dedicated caregivers in our state.
Even though Maine has seemingly come further than most states in our nation, we cannot afford to stop now to pat ourselves on the back. Thank you for discussing this important issue!