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AARP AARP States Maine Caregiving

Family caregivers may be eligible for a grant through Respite for ME


Maine is home to nearly 166,000 family caregivers who provide support for their loved ones enabling them to remain at home, where they want to be, and out of costly nursing homes. In fact, the economic value of the care these unsung heroes provide is valued at $2.9 billion in Maine alone according to the latest AARP Valuing the Invaluable series report which was released in 2023.

Family caregivers play a vital role in Maine’s health care system. We want to make sure all family caregivers have the financial, emotional, and social support they need, because the care they provide is, indeed, invaluable both to those receiving it and to their community.

Despite the economic value they give our state, many caregivers have out-of-pocket expenses associated with the care they provide. In fact, the typical annual out-of-pocket expense is significant: $7,242. Recognizing this, AARP Maine advocated for the Respite for ME grant program.

According to the website, these grants, funded by the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, will “allow caregivers to access respite care as well as other services not currently covered by existing programs. Eligible caregivers may receive up to $5,171 to access needed services.”

Some ways caregivers have been able to utilize the grant money include:

  • Private duty care at home
  • Adult day centers
  • Legal Fees
  • Housecleaning
  • Yard work
  • Snow plowing
  • Transportation to dialysis
  • And more

Caregivers often face financial and emotional stress related to their care work and the Respite for ME could help ease that burden. Eligibility criteria includes the caregiver being able to show proof of economic hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the caregiver must also participate in a caregiver assessment (over the phone). To learn more visit the website here or call 1-877-353-3771.

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