A call to action to build a robust, coordinated system of formal and informal supports and services was sounded by the Maine Council on Aging (MCOA) at the September 2018 Wisdom Summit, attended by staff members Janet Lewis and Anne Schroth.
Discussions in work groups throughout the summit recognized two key questions facing us as we age emerged:
Will the services we need to available when and where we will need them, regardless of where in the state we live, whether from family, friends, formal programs. or volunteers networks?
Will the funds be there to pay for them, whether self-pay, a benefit, or funds from local or state organizations or government?
These two factors determine how well we can age in our homes and communities. The difference is whether we stay healthy and engaged in community life or experience avoidable health problems and are forced to use more expensive services such as hospitals, assisted living, and nursing home care. This kind of care increases the overall costs for everyone as well as for state and federally funded programs. We have the opportunity to do what we have always done well in Maine in the past: work together to build a strong plan, take action, and make life the way it should be for everyone in Maine.
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