I began caring for older people on and off when I was just a teenager, having discovered I had a liking and knack for the work. My last “amateur” gig was with a woman in her mid-90s I met through my church. Because I was offering care, this lady’s daughter didn’t have to quit her job as a teacher to do it herself.

Now home care is my profession. Because I know from direct experience how great the need is for this kind of service among Maine families, I urge everyone to vote for Question 1, the universal home care initiative on the ballot this fall. It would ensure home care for older and disabled Mainers no matter their economic circumstances.

Disabled people living alone, frail elderly with no adult kids or none nearby, families overwhelmed by a relative who needs full-time care — they currently have no place to turn. Question 1 would be a lifeline for them.

How do we pay for it? With a small tax on individual incomes above $128,400 (with the amount adjusted each year for inflation). I think that’s a fair funding source.

I’ve worked in nursing homes and know that sometimes that’s the right answer. But many people can do fine at home if they can just get the right kind of support — and home care costs only about half as much as care in a facility.

We can’t turn our backs on our friends and neighbors in need. We can’t rely on people like my younger self to just show up and do the work. We need a reliable, fair system in place everyone can count on. We need Question 1 to pass. Please vote yes.

Louise Goodrow


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