About 178,000 Mainers serve as family caregivers, providing services worth $2.2 billion annually for their parents, spouses and other adults. Such services include preparing meals, managing medications, help with bathing and transportation to medical appointments.

In addition, a recent AARP study showed U.S. family caregivers spend nearly 20 percent of their income on caregiving activities, contributing on average nearly $7,000 annually to their loved ones’ care. The costs are much higher if the loved one has dementia or lives far away, and the percentage rises as income drops.

To offer some financial relief, AARP Maine is backing legislation that would provide tax credits to caregivers with low to moderate incomes. For details or to get involved, email AARP Maine at me@aarp.org or call 207-776-6303.

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