Maine veterans make the case for Question 1

Maine veterans make the case for Question 1

New report shows need for home care for vets

Maine veterans who support Question 1 on Tuesday’s ballot spoke at events in Bangor and Portland today to highlight the unmet need for home care for those who have served.

“I am 80 years old and have trouble walking from a helicopter accident from when I was in the military. I live with my wife and would be devastated if one of us were forced to leave our home for a nursing home,” said Jerry Genesio of Scarborough. “Please vote yes on Question 1. Help veterans like me to maintain our dignity and independence. It’s the right thing to do.”

Common Defense, a national veterans’ organization, today released a report showing that nearly half of Maine veterans are already over the age of 65 and that proportion is quickly growing.

“The need for care services that meet the specific and growing care needs of Maine veterans is serious and immediate,” explained Common Defense Maine member Alicia Barnes. “Veterans are even more at risk for conditions, including dementia and Alzheimer’s, than the general public, because of the prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injuries and conditions like PTSD.”

“Right now, Maine veterans aren’t getting the assistance they need. The VA does a good job in many areas, but too many vets are being forced from their homes and into facility-based care,” said Barnes.

Question One will guarantee that all seniors and Mainers with disabilities can get the home care assistance they need to stay at home, funded by closing a tax loophole affecting the wealthiest 2.6%.

The initiative is opposed by a coalition of corporate political action committees, including Maine’s nursing home lobby.

“The nursing home lobby is trying to confuse older Mainers about question 1 to protect their profits. The Portland Press Herald called what they’re doing ‘dishonest scare tactics’. I call them just plain lies,” said Wilbur ‘Skip’ Worcester of Hermon, a U.S. Army veteran. “When you go vote on Tuesday, vote for a better future for seniors, veterans and our whole state. Don’t let the liars win.”

Click here to access a copy of the report.