We 24/7 caregivers of our spouses have to become physical and occupational therapists, as the professionals come for just a few hours a week – the rest of the time, we must try to get our spouses to do all their exercises. And with Alzheimer’s disease, that isn’t easy.

A bill before our Maine lawmakers (L.D. 84) suggests paying 24/7 home caregivers, who provide comfort and exercises and allow their loved ones to stay home longer.

To those who voted in favor of this bill: Thank you and God bless. To those who voted against paying us as home care workers: Remember that the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Patrick Corey, said that this will save the state money in the long run. Caregivers won’t have to apply to the Department of Health and Human Services and spend down to get MaineCare-sponsored nursing home care for their loved ones.

Providing this care is a labor of love but also very stressful mentally, physically and financially. It won’t be long before we all will be broke and then, of course, reluctantly will have to apply for MaineCare. I don’t have to remind the naysayers that if that happens, it will cost the state, at most nursing homes, at least $75,000 a year per patient.

I hope and pray that lawmakers will reconsider this bill, as most of us are elderly and couldn’t work if we wanted to. Besides, we can’t leave our loved ones home alone, ever. My wife wanders and that is so sad and dangerous for both of us.

Please help us avoid long-term care with the state and allow us to get paid as home care workers. The financial strain is going to get worse.

It is my hope that no one in the State House ever has to go through what we are experiencing with Alzheimer’s and strokes. It’s a big toll, and we are going broke!

Frank Slason

Somerville


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