My hat’s off to the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel for doing such a great comprehensive job in reporting the struggle of Maine’s elderly and Department of Health and Human Services’ failure to implement an effective plan to meet the mounting need.

What a shame neither Gov. Paul LePage nor the Democrat-led Legislature found this critical-stage problem significant enough to mention in their State of the State speeches.

Could it be that the governor and the legislators are denying the fact that they, too, could outlive their own resources and wind up in the solitary confinement and limited rations so many Mainers find themselves in today?

It is my hope that in the next session, someone will step up to the plate, acknowledge the problem and propose some common sense solutions to deal with this crises.

At the very basic level of service delivery would be to expand funding to create good paying job training and employment of homemaker/home health aides who would work under the supervision of a medical management team to visit the home two to three times a week to do light housekeeping, cooking, shopping, supervision of nutrition and meds, and report progress, or lack thereof, to medical management team.

The primary purpose of a homemaker/home health aide program is to prevent avoidable hospital or nursing home care while drastically containing or reducing the cost for elder care.

Even at $20 an hour for a trained and supervised homemaker/home health aide to visit three times a week for a year, one can easily visualize considerable savings if it prevented that same older person from being placed in nursing home care at $40,000 a year.

It’s time for the governor and Legislature to stop denying their own mortality before it is too late for them to do anything about it.

Patrick Eisenhart

Augusta

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