To the Editor:
I recently participated in a tele-town hall hosted by AARP Maine on behalf of family caregivers across the state. 1,200 Maine residents participated during the hour-long discussion. Our goal? To raise awareness about the needs of caregivers and to start to examine the supports and services Maine caregivers need in their own communities.
With 178,000 family caregivers in the state of Maine taking care of a loved one every day, we know these issues are of paramount importance. When you are a caregiver, trying to balance work and other home and family responsibilities can feel overwhelming. The truth is that caregiving can take a toll on your family as well as your career. I was a caregiver for my mom for over a decade. I know how hard it can be.
That’s why AARP Maine is dedicated to working with family caregivers to ensure that the supports needed to care both for their loved one and for themselves are in place. As we head into a new year and the next legislative session, we hope to work toward meaningful solutions to effectively address these issues.
In addition, caregivers and their families now have access to a free publication called the Maine Caregiver Resource Guide. The guide is full of state-specific tips, tools and resources to help family caregivers at every stage of their caregiving journey. You can get yours today by emailing [email protected].
AARP has also created a wonderful online resource center so caregivers across the country can join a network of support and find even more resources. Please visit www.aarp.org/caregiving for more information. Let’s work together to support caregivers in Maine.
Lee Ann Stearns