4 communities in Maine
Granite Hill Estates
The Residence At Tall Pines
Hermitage on the Eastern Shore
Senior Living in Maine
Maine is the Pine Tree State, and a casual glance at the countryside shows why. Even the state floral emblem is the white pine cone and tassel, and the state bird, the black-capped chickadee, makes a point of nesting in pine trees. The vast evergreen forest that first made Maine attractive to French Canadian lumberjacks and trappers are mostly still here, covering some of the state's rockiest terrain and reaching, in places, as far down as the coast, where the lobster fishing industry thrives miles offshore. Maine's 1.3 million people live in a couple of large(ish) cities, Bangor and Portland, and countless smaller towns that cling to the narrow inlets of the shoreline.
For seniors who can travel, New Hampshire, Vermont and even points of interest in Canada are no more than a short day trip away, and local reservations offer gaming and hospitality for seniors with the cash to spend.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a level of long-term residential care that some seniors opt for when in-home health care and independent living no longer meet their basic needs. Aging citizens in assisted living in Maine can expect room and board for their monthly fee, plus staff assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs) that have become difficult, such as personal care, meal prep and taking some medications.
Roughly 20 percent of Maine's citizens are over 65, and many live in residential care communities that are fairly tightly regulated by the state, which recognizes no fewer than four levels of medical residential care, and four non-medical long-term care options for seniors. Aging citizens in Maine can find assisted living options that run from very basic amenities to full-service resort-style communities.
What Does Assisted Living Cost in Maine?
Assisted living in Maine costs most seniors an average of $4,890 a month. This is quite a lot more than the national average of $3,750 a month that's common nationwide. In-home health aides in Maine, who commonly help seniors in their own homes before the move to assisted living, cost a median of $4,481 a month. Costs vary by city in Maine, with Bangor residents paying an average of $4,350 a month for basic assisted living care, while Portland-area seniors might pay an average of $5,500 for the same or similar options.
How is Assisted Living Regulated in Maine?
Maine licenses assisted living communities through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Office of Aging and Disability Services. This department inspects properties, reviews standards and enforces rules to ensure a generally high standard of care across all of the state's residential care communities. Amenities vary by facility, but the state's guidelines call for staff and residential care facilities to prioritize helping seniors with reduced abilities to live as fully and independently as possible. The department takes comments from the public, especially from seniors and their friends and families, regarding concerns they may have over quality of care, health and safety issues and other matters that most affect seniors.
How is Assisted Living in Maine Affected by Laws and Taxes?
The state of Maine can be a mixed bag for seniors with income of their own. Social security is not taxed here, which is good news for aging citizens who depend on the federal program for all or most of their income. All other types of income, however, are subject to Maine's 7.15 percent state income tax. Unlike many other states, Maine does not allow for a large exemption on the first few thousand dollars earned, but it taxes IRAs, 401(k)s and other forms of investment income across the board.
Politics in Maine
Maine's constitution was adopted in 1820 and was written, in part, by Thomas Jefferson. The state had recently split from New Hampshire, one of the original thirteen colonies and still had very few people in it. The constitution has a declaration of rights for citizens and created a government that was a near-copy of the U.S. Constitution, in that it has executive, legislative and judicial branches with powers that are strictly separate. Today, Maine's founding charter is the fourth-oldest continuously operating constitution of all the states.
Politically, Maine has been the odd man out for a long time. Unlike every other state except Nebraska, Maine splits its electoral votes in presidential elections. Thus, the largest bloc of votes (three) commonly go to the Democratic candidate for office, while the fourth elector was assigned to the Republican candidate in 2016. Maine is volatile in its party loyalty, and it unpredictably shifts from red to blue for most offices and in most elections.
- Maine produces 90 percent of the country's lobsters and 99 percent of its blueberries. The blueberries grow wild, and it's an annual ritual for locals to pick them in enormous quantities from just about every open space. The state's Seniors’ Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program includes blueberries in care packages for seniors in Maine, including the supplemental nutrition packages for aging citizens in assisted living.
- Maine is the coldest state in the Union... sometimes. Alaska tops the list of overall coldest states, but in the lower 48, Maine has the chilliest spring season. Wyoming actually has the coldest summers, while North Dakota walks away with the coldest winter and fall. Having a cold spring may seem like a drawback, but by delaying the blooming season for local vegetation, this actually helps keep seniors' allergies and asthma under control during the frost.
- Cadillac Mountain is Maine's highest point. At 1,530 feet above sea level, it's good for a day trip to the top for active seniors. The mountain is not named for the car, but for the man whom the Cadillac automobile is also named, the French explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac.