Almost three years ago, when my mother lost her job due to her early-onset dementia, I was faced with a difficult decision. My choices ranged from A) finding a nursing home to place her in ($100,000 per year) to B) hiring in-home care ($50,000 per year) to C) adjusting my life so that I could be her full-time caregiver. I chose option C, because my mother clearly wanted to live at home, and also because I wasn’t ready to watch her life savings disappear in a fraction of the time it took her to accumulate it.

Many middle-class Mainers, like my mother and myself, find themselves in the wide gap between extreme wealth (to the point of nursing home costs being considered “affordable”), and poverty (which one needs to achieve before being eligible for Medicaid assistance). Universal Homecare would provide access to home care for all Maine seniors and Mainers with disabilities, regardless of income. If passed, seniors and people with disabilities would be able to get the care they need while staying in their homes, without impoverishing themselves in the process.

I encourage Maine people to educate themselves on this measure and be prepared to vote on it in November. An excellent resource for information is the campaign website, www.mainersforhomecare.org.

Jessica Browne, Belfast