Who Will Care? Stand Up for Our Older Adults

  • We are asking advocates to write a message to the legislature and ask for additional funding for long term care. Personlized messages are greatly appreciated. Below are talking points for background.

    There have been approximately 50 long term care facility closures or conversions to lower levels of care in Maine since 2014. Specifically, there have been 25 nursing home closures, 11 of which have closed since 2020.

  • This escalating rate of closures is happening because of low reimbursement rates coupled with record inflation levels and exploding labor costs due to too few qualified direct care workers. The only solution to this problem is to increase MaineCare reimbursement rates to meet today’s price of providing care to our loved ones.

  • The use of agency labor has grown over $100 million from $49.6 million in 2019 to $149.9 million in 2022, and the trajectory for 2023 and 2024 shows no slowing down.

  • Legislation was passed to collect data on temporary nurse agency staffing costs (LD 451); however, this is only the first step, and additional measures will be needed to address these exploding costs.

  • While the legislature has provided one-time supplemental funding, the escalating rates of closures indicate that this is not working. The chronic underfunding and lack of staff is crippling Maine’s ability to provide long term care services to our aging population.

  • Simply put, long term care cannot sustain the significant funding shortfalls it faces. The nursing home sector shortfall for 2022 was $96.5 million. The residential care/assisted living shortfall in 2022 was $24.3 million. With significant federal match (.66 on every $1.00 for nursing homes) the state can leverage other resources to help address this shortfall.

  • Maine is the oldest state in the nation, with a significant baby boomer population that will need access to long term care. In fact, nearly 70% of older adults are likely going to need long term care services at some point during their lives.

  • The declining access to long term care is deeply concerning. In fact, Hancock County has no nursing homes left. Other parts of Maine are soon to follow.

  • These closures cause emotional distress to residents and their families and, in many cases, significantly extend travel times.

  • Closures also impact the whole healthcare system as many Mainers are stuck in hospitals waiting months for a long term care placement.

Take Action Now!

Contact your legislators.

Details to be included in message to recipient(s): Name, Email, Address, Job Title, Organization.

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