To Gov. Paul LePage and other concerned about care for the elderly in rural Maine: I am an elderly person who wanted to stay home instead of going to a nursing home for as long as possible, or to choose my nursing home when and if the time came.

First, I applied for in-home assistance through Catholic Charities of Maine. That worked fine for a while, but as my health deteriorated, I needed additional personal help as well as help with cleaning and running errands and such.

So next I sought help from the agency Assistance Plus. The care they sent was excellent, but it did not last. I have not had help for about three months.

I have a booklet of phone numbers of places offering assistance, but it seems like they are only there for people that live in the more populated areas. I live in a rural area, and am experiencing much frustration in trying phone numbers and getting redirected to other phone numbers. In the end, there is no help.

It has been very hard getting along. I am weak. I fall at times; I’ve fractured my arm. I have other needs that I don’t care to mention. Still, in this, I am mostly able to care for myself; I just need some assistance.

I’ve put my name on a waiting list in Augusta for assisted living, but it could be a long time before I can get in. Until then …

Joyce Matthews


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