Many of us struggle with child care or caring for aging parents or disabled family members. The tasks required are endless, and the cost of professional help is often beyond our means. Many of us must hold jobs, too.

Most, if not all, of us will be in such a situation at one time or another. Professional caregivers also need additional support, usually in the form of training and higher salaries, noting that home care is less expensive than institutionalization.

My situation was a bit more manageable, because I was fortunate enough to plan ahead, have sibling assistance and work through a crisis – a father dead in an accident, a mother in the early stages of disability and a horrible situation with an older house and 50 years’ accumulations. But I can only imagine what the situation would have been like if we had not had the options that we did.

Maine People’s Alliance has a plan to help both young families and a growing senior population. Supported by two state legislators and several caregiver and community groups, universal family care would institute a voucher system to provide free child care services and home care services for seniors and Mainers with disabilities. I urge everyone to support this. More information can be found on the Maine People’s Alliance website.

Dawn Leland

Portland