For more than 25 years, Bridges Home Services, a division of Spectrum Generations, has provided in-home care and community support to older and disabled residents in central Maine. Our staff of 200 spends roughly 180,000 hours each year caring for our patients, who include your parents, grandparents, family members and neighbors.

As Maine’s population ages, there is a growing need for the services that we provide, which promote well-being and independence, allowing aging and disabled adults to safely live in their community of choice. Our direct care specialists provide essential services, and without them, many would become sick and isolated and face routine hospitalizations.

Our staff provides necessary care, and to be frank, they deserve to be paid more for the incredible services they provide. Bridges pays its employees the highest wage that the current reimbursement rate allows for, but it simply isn’t enough to attract and maintain the necessary workforce to meet our community needs. COVID, unfortunately, has exacerbated an already significant workforce crisis in the direct care industry, and something must be done.

That’s why recently, I testified on behalf of Spectrum Generations in support of L.D. 1573, which would mandate that direct care workers are paid 125 percent of minimum wage.

It is increasingly vital that the state understand the needs of the direct care workforce, and for real, lasting solutions to support employment growth in this sector. The health and independence of our loved ones depend on it.

Jeff Johnson
director of operations, Bridges Home Services
Augusta

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