Senate gives initial approval to Dill assisted living bill

Posted: March 07, 2018 | Senator Dill

AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate overwhelmingly endorsed a bill from Sen. Jim Dill, D-Old Town, to fund assisted living centers for seniors in an initial vote on Tuesday. The vote was 31-3.

LD 1742, “Resolve, To Support Vulnerable Seniors by Funding Assisted Living Programs” provides a one-time $500,000 appropriation from the General Fund to help assisted living providers to close the gap between their expenses and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to study the funding structure for assisted living centers.

“Maine’s assisted living facilities provide critical services for seniors who wish to remain independent yet need help with some aspects of their lives, such as taking their medicine, preparing meals, bathing, light housekeeping, and transportation,” said Sen. Dill. “This is a reasonable bill that both keeps these facilities up in running and explores ways in which we can avoid shortfalls in the future. I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate could join me in supporting this bill.”

In Maine, there are nine assisted living facilities that receive funding through state contracts. However, too many are barely making ends meet. Without additional funding, these facilities will be forced to close and leave seniors in need of a new place to live.

Assisted living centers allow seniors to live independently, with minimal assistance from caregivers. They receive help with meals, administering medication, bathing, light housekeeping, and transportation, and have 24-hour access to attendants in the case of emergency. In the absence of these centers, residents would likely be moved into nursing facilities or private non-medical institutions that provide full-time care and cost significantly more to operate.

LD 1742 will now move to the floor of the House.