Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Helping caregivers

We’re writing to thank Julia Bayly for her June 2 piece in the BDN on caregivers and the importance of self-care, as well as to thank Patty Pendergast for sharing her story. As the leaders of Healthy Living for Maine’s caregiver programs, we are well-acquainted with the challenges caregivers face. Caring for loved ones, whether the help is needed due to aging, disability, or illness, is a difficult job, emotionally and physically. AARP reports that more than 180,000 Mainers are currently caregivers.

In her piece, Bayly mentioned that Area Agencies on Aging are a good resource for caregivers. This is true! Healthy Living for Maine is the Community Integrated Health Network supporting all five agencies and other community providers for the delivery of an array of programs. The Savvy Caregiver program is for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, while the Building Better Caregivers program helps caregivers care for people with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, or another form of memory impairment. Topics covered range from stress to legal issues related to caregiving. Participants make weekly action plans and help each other solve problems.

In participating, caregivers become part of a community, helping them know they are not alone and have a place to turn to for support and advice. As is noted in Bayly’s article, such connections are important.

If someone is a caregiver, they are not alone. We’re part of the community that’s here to help them. For more information, visit healthylivingforme.org.

Jen Paquet

Training manager

Jennifer Fortin

Training and fidelity manager

Healthy Living for Maine

Augusta

Maine people getting priced out

Property taxes are going up. It’s no surprise. People with money who we’ve heard sometimes pay little to no taxes are gobbling up properties in Maine and paying through the nose.

Maine is the oldest state in the union. You’d think we would have a governor who would help protect Mainers from this evilness. No Mainer I know can afford coastal property because of out-of-staters. It became completely out of reach for the average Mainer decades ago. Now they are driving us out of the interior parts as well.

Kelley Hashey

Bangor

Uphold Constitution and protect voting rights

As your June 12-13 editorial points out, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are key players in the current debate in Congress concerning voting rights. They both seem to understand the seriousness of the issue in these times, especially with so many state legislatures passing laws that restrict voting rights in a variety of ways.

What I don’t understand is why nobody reads the U.S. Constitution on this point. It states, in the 15th Amendment, that: “The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” It goes on to state that: “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” So what’s missing? Every member of Congress swears to uphold the Constitution, the 15th Amendment of which could hardly be clearer.

At least Congress should be able to agree on a bipartisan reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Beyond that, we are all sick and tired of having every election tainted by out-of-state funded advertising. But that’s a separate issue.

Peter Garrett

Winslow