Archive | Viewpoint

Walking a mile in their shoes

I have been working in affordable housing for over 25 years. I know about aging and disabilities.  I also know about reasonable accommodations and modifications. I know that not all limitations are obvious to others and I know that many disabilities cannot be seen.

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Clean repeal, skinny repeal. It all came to nothing

How often do we get to see elected officials voting on Nothing?

That’s what it came to in Congress the other day. The U.S. Senate could not muster the votes to even discuss “repealing and replacing” the Affordable Care Act. But they exerted more pressure on their members, and finally managed to vote 51-50 to begin to debate some version of repealing the Affordable Care Act. They came up with a replacement bill that would have allowed insurance companies to offer cheap, “stripped down” policies that did not meet federal standards. But that bill lost by a vote of 43 to 57. With conservatives and moderates balking at the “replacement” bill, the leadership turned to a new option: repeal Obamacare. No replacement, just what they called a “clean repeal.”

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The Warrior Queen, the Harmonizer, the Snark, etc.

Don’t we all know that feeling? Aren’t we all a bundle of contradictions? Don’t we all contain multitudes? Don’t we all surprise ourselves by dealing differently, at different times, with situations that seem to be alike? Don’t we sometimes make a remark that feels outrageous and wonder, “Where did that come from?”

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War on poverty now a war on the poor

The federal War on Poverty has turned into a war on poor people. The battle lines have shifted from alleviating poverty, to eliminating poor people. Instead of attacking poverty, the field has been reversed, and the attack is on poor people themselves.

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Dementia information at your fingertips

I just dropped my 91-year-old father and his wife off at Logan Airport. They live outside of LA, and were visiting here for a week.  My father has clearly deteriorated both physically and mentally with increased dementia since I visited him several months ago.

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When will home care workers get ‘enough pay to stay?’

Picture a widowed elderly woman in her mid-80s. She needs help daily with bathing, dressing and toileting. But she has one more problem. She has been told that there are no workers available to come into her home to fill all the hours of care she needs.

This scenario is happening more and more across the commonwealth. The recruitment and retention of home care aides, home health aides, and care managers poses a real threat to the independence of many of our older neighbors. The image of a low-wage/high-turnover job makes it hard to find and keep home care workers. We must do better if we are to keep up with our fastest growing demographic – those over age of 60. We must give these workers “enough pay to stay.”

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