To the Editor:
As a doctor, I frequently see patients who can’t be discharged from the hospital because we can’t set up suitable home care. A measure on the ballot this fall would begin to fix that problem: Question 1, the Universal Home Care initiative. It deserves all our support.
Question 1 would ensure all Maine families have access to home care for elderly and disabled relatives, regardless of household income. It would pay for this vital service through a tax on higher incomes. One of those incomes would be mine, but I’m willing to contribute my share to making home care available to all who need it.
Even when it is available now, the quality of home care often leaves much to be desired. Question 1 addresses that problem, too, by improving the pay, benefits and training of home care workers.
My wife and I were in a position to make an addition to our house in order to welcome my 92-year-old mother-in-law into our home. Now, instead of having to travel to the senior housing where her mother used to reside, my wife can walk just a few steps to pay a visit and make sure she’s OK.
Home is often the most medically appropriate, personally reassuring and economically wise place for patients to be. Question 1 will see to it that all Maine families will have the chance to make this smart choice. I urge everyone to vote for Question 1 in November.
Mark Brown, M.D.