Universal homecare referendum will help thousands of Maine families

Universal homecare referendum will help thousands of Maine families

With the release of ballot question language from the office of Maine’s Secretary of State, grassroots supporters applauded another step forward in the campaign to guarantee that senior citizens and Mainers with disabilities can receive the assistance they need to stay in their homes.

“My husband Roland was diagnosed six years ago with Alzheimer’s at the age of 57. That one cruel twist of fate has changed the path of our lives forever,” said Debra Bourque, a small business owner from Biddeford. “Money is tight to pay for care he needs, and whatever money we had saved for retirement is quickly depleting. We need to make sure Maine seniors can live with their families, in their own homes, and on their own terms.”

Hundreds of volunteers gathered almost 70,000 signatures to place the universal homecare measure on the ballot this November, which would narrow a tax loophole benefiting the richest 1.6% in order to guarantee that homecare is available to all Mainers who need it.

“We all know the problem. In our rapidly-aging state, too many seniors are being forced from their homes. Too many people with disabilities can’t get the care they need,” said Miri Lyons, a former homecare worker and current family caregiver from Boothbay. “Homecare for all will fix that. It’s a guarantee that if you need help staying in your home, you can get it. It’s also a plan to raise wages for workers and professionalize the home care industry, creating good jobs and making sure caregivers are there when they’re needed.”