State must take better care of seniors, infirm
I am appalled by the current plight of our elderly and disabled residents. Over the last 40 years, numerous valuable programs were created to meet the needs of our most-vulnerable adult residents. These programs gave adults who cannot care for themselves the best possible care in the least-restrictive environment possible. Now, all of this is changing drastically.
In recent months, the reduction in programs, including the Aged and Disabled Waiver, has caused our elderly, disabled and sickest residents to be deprived of the care and assistance they so desperately need to remain safely and effectively in their homes. Many such residents have died or had to go to nursing homes while they waited for help. Some of them have no family or support systems that can provide the needed care as they wait for the state to recognize and remedy their plight. They cannot wait any longer.
How can we, as a state, overlook and ignore this situation. The Aged & Disabled Waiver program alone has more than 2,000 people with severe illnesses and disabilities who are waiting for help. Failure to recognize and remedy this dire situation by our state leaders means those affected are basically being abandoned and left to experience slow, painful and lonely deaths. Our state leaders need to realize this situation not only affects other people but could also impact any of us, personally and directly, at some point in time.
None of us are going to live forever, and we do not know what illnesses, infirmities or limitations we, or members of our families, will face in the future.
Martha J. Scott Hager
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