One year ago, my adult son suffered a series of strokes that left him unable to care for himself. Since his release from the hospital, he has lived with me and my elderly mother, and I have provided the round-the-clock care he now requires.

It’s important to me for him to be at home, with his family, where he’s continued to improve. But I’m exhausted.

MaineCare does provide some daytime support and therapy, but caring for my son has become my life. My days are structured around his needs. I would dearly love to enjoy even one full night’s sleep, but hiring help to make that happen is a luxury I can’t afford.

I often feel isolated, but I know I’m not alone. Far too many Mainers are in the same boat, dedicated to caring for our loved ones at home but unable to afford the support we need. And there simply aren’t enough people doing this work right now. The homecare workers we do have in Maine often work long hours for low wages.

Congress has the chance right now, with the Build Back Better plan, to support huge investments in home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities. This would help me and my family, and ensure a living wage for the people who help us.

I urge our lawmakers to support Maine families this way.

Cindy Gallant, Lewiston

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