I hope others will join me in voting “yes” for universal home care (Question 1) in November.

I am an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam era, and I worked for 40 years as a laboratory technologist. But I was hardly prepared for how exhausting it was to care for three of my loved ones at the end of their lives. I wanted to help them stay in their own homes because that is what they wanted.

If there had been more help for some of the care they needed, like shopping, showering, housekeeping and managing their medications, I could have been better able to care for their emotional needs. We would have been able to have real quality time together instead of only getting the chores and basic care done. And they could have stayed home longer. Through almost 10 years, I tried my best.

A system is needed that helps people do what is best for their family members. I could have overseen my loved ones’ care and done some of it myself, if I had help with the daunting list of tasks that needed doing so that they could stay home when they wanted to.

This November, voters have a chance to bring such services to all Maine families who need them. I hope that Question 1, the universal home care initiative, is passed.

Francis (Frank) Ayotte, Auburn

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