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Governor Mills Tours MaineGeneral Health’s Alzheimer’s Care Center, Promotes Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Grant Program to Make Respite Care More Affordable for Caregivers Across Maine

Governor also takes walking tour of downtown Hallowell, visiting businesses and meeting with business owners as she continues her travels across Maine 

KENNEBEC COUNTY – Governor Janet Mills today toured MaineGeneral Health’s Alzheimer’s Care Center in Gardiner. The Governor applauded the Center’s extraordinary work in providing first-class care and promoted her Administration’s forthcoming grant program – Respite Care for ME – that will help caregivers afford respite care for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 29,000 people aged 65 and older in Maine were living with Alzheimer’s in 2020. It is estimated that 35,000 Mainers aged 65 and older will be living with the disease by 2025, representing an increase of more than 20 percent.

Through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, the Mills Administration is partnering with Maine’s five Area Agencies on Aging to launch Respite for ME this fall. The program will provide up to $2,000 in grant funding to support family caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, helping them to access respite care, like those services provided at the Alzheimer’s Care Center in Gardiner.

“MaineGeneral Health’s Alzheimer’s Care Center is delivering outstanding and compassionate care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias – and that is in large part thanks to their dedicated, caring staff. With more people expected to need dementia-related services in the coming years, places like the Alzheimer’s Care Center in Gardiner are only going to become more important,” said Governor Janet Mills. “My Administration is working hard to ensure that caregivers across Maine – who dedicate their time and energy to take care of people they love – are able to afford respite care. Later this year, we will stand up a new grant program from my Jobs Plan that will deliver grants to folks to help them access and afford these important services.”

“The Governor’s visit means so much to residents and staff,” said Chuck Hays, President & CEO of MaineGeneral Health. “We appreciate her taking the time to listen to residents and clients of our day program, for her steadfast support during COVID-19 and her continued focus on the health and welfare of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.”

The first Alzheimer’s Care Center in Maine upon its opening in 1988, the Gardiner Center provides long-term care and other services to those with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias in a safe, secure, and welcoming environment. The Center also provides adult day care services that allow people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias the opportunity to participate in social activities in a safe environment while also allowing caregivers to balance a job or other responsibilities with caregiving duties.

Following her visit to the Alzheimer’s Care Center, the Governor took a walking tour of downtown Hallowell, stopping into local businesses and meeting with business owners. The Governor visited Nellie’s Kitchen, Traverse Coffee Co, Vignettes Artisan Crafts and Gifts, Dom’s Barber Shop, Loyal Biscuit Co, and Berry and Berry Floral. The Governor’s events in Kennebec County come as she travels across the state to meet with local business and community leaders. The Governor has visited Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, and Cumberland counties. She also plans to visit York and Somerset counties this week.

Governor Mills with staff of MaineGeneral Health's Alzheimer's Care Center

Governor Mills at Vignettes Artisan Crafts and Gifts

Governor Mills at Traverse Coffee Co

Governor Mills at Nellie's Kitchen

Governor Mills at Dom's Barber Shop

Governor Mills at Berry and Berry Floral