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  • Maine’s Speaker Eves calls for action on plan to help seniors with KeepME

    Maine House Speaker Eves

    Maine House Speaker Eves

    The Speaker of the Maine House on Thursday urged state leaders from both parties to come together to overhaul how Maine cares for its seniors.Maine is the oldest state in the nation, with one in four Maine people turning 65 each day.

    “The election is over and now is the time for us to come together to address the very serious challenges facing seniors in our state,” said Eves. “Seniors are concerned about rising property taxes, access to affordable housing, high heating costs and direct care services. We know these challenges are real barriers for seniors who want to live independently in their communities where they raised a generation. I look forward to working with Governor LePage and Republicans to address these concerns. This is an area we must find common ground.”

    Eves has been holding aging forums across the state to grow support for his KeepME Home plan to help older adults age in their homes and communities. The plan would create affordable housing for seniors in each of Maine’s 16 counties through a $65 million housing bond; boost pay for in-home care workers who have not had a raise in nearly a decade; and expand property tax credits for seniors.

    Governor Paul LePage expressed support for Eves’ plan earlier this year in as surprise call in to the George Hale-Ric Tyler radio show.

    Public support for the initiative is strong. A recent AARP poll asked 2,000 Maine voters over the age of 50 about a number of issues affecting their lives. One of the areas of top concern was helping seniors to stay in their own homes as they age. According to the poll, “nearly seven out of ten think it should be a top or high priority for Maine elected officials to support age-friendly communities by funding services, programs, or infrastructure changes that enable residents to age in place.”

    The KeepME Home plan is part of a culmination of nearly a year of work collaborating with aging experts, caregivers, municipal, and business leaders. The proposals will serve as key pieces of a larger package of legislation on aging in the 127th Legislature, which convenes Dec. 3.