Mainers celebrate Grandparents’ Day, urge respect for elders

Mainers celebrate Grandparents’ Day, urge respect for elders

It’s not always the most high-profile holiday on the calendar, but Grandparents’ Day (this Sunday, September 13th) is of particular importance for Maine, which has the oldest population of any state in the country.

This weekend, Mainers from across the state are taking the opportunity to recognize the contributions of their older family members and advocate for their well-being. This including urging the protection and expansion of Medicare and Social Security and promoting other policies to help Maine seniors age at home and with dignity.

Grandparents’ Day, a recognized federal holiday since 1978, is the brainchild of Marian McQuaid, a caregiver who wanted a day set aside to help remind people to honor their elders and recognize all they have to offer.

Senior-friendly policies being advocated for on this Grandparents’ Day include enhancing services that allow more seniors to age at home and giving credit through Social Security for those who work to care for family members.

Many families in Maine are currently struggling to ensure proper care for aging loved ones and far too often they also put their own retirement security in jeopardy. On average, caregivers lose about $140,000 in total Social Security benefits because they have to leave the workforce to provide care.

The day is also a good time to remember Second-District Representative Bruce Poliquin’s recent vote to privatize Medicare and urge state and federal leaders to do better.

Mainers are sharing their own thoughts and stories on these and other issues using the hashtag #GrandparentsDay on Twitter and Facebook. Photos of members of the Maine People’s Alliance with their Grandparents’ Day messages can be found on the MPA Facebook page.

This Sunday, be sure to call your grandparents… and then your member of Congress.

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