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Posts Tagged ‘elderly’

Wow, that is a mouthful for the title of this blog post…but, it is what it says it is.  The National Association of Letter Carriers have committed themselves once again to their annual food drive.   They do this to help combat hunger.  In the last two years in the United States, more than 50 million people have found themselves living in homes that don’t have enough food.  This is outrageous, we can all do something to help.  No one should go hungry in a country that supplies other nations with food from our surplus produce that farmers work so hard to grow.

You may say, I am only one person…what can i do?  You can support the National Association of Letter Carriers help stamp out hunger by leaving a bag at your mail box, on Saturday May 14, 2011, with non-perishable food items.  That is only 2 days from now.   Make sure that the items you are donating are not out of date or in danger of expiring any time soon.   Don’t have a lot to give; give what you can.  If you are blessed enough to have the means to give…give generously; we all have a responsibility to share our blessings with others.

Support businesses and organizations that sponsor the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.  This is an amazing grass roots program that blesses your local food banks.  All the food collected by your local mail carrier stays in your local area.  The people you help may be your own friends, family or neighbors. With the economy being so challenging in recent years more people are affected by not having enough to eat.  The numbers of children in homes without enough food is rising.  The elderly are having a harder time making ends meet.  Young wage earners are finding themselves without steady income to support their families sufficiently.   Natural disasters have hurt many families and those people still need to eat.  Churches can’t do it all…they need our help to provide food for those who are struggling with hunger!  Won’t you help?

Would you like to learn more?  Visit their website here:  Stamp Out Hunger and if you happen to have a Facebook account or a Twitter account…then Like them or Follow them to lend your support.  Spread the work online and off.  Tell others about the food drive…encourage others to donate.

Remember to thank your mail carrier.  They are dedicated to helping people stamp out hunger in your community.   Do you know someone who has had to use food from a food pantry or food bank?  Tell them about my friend Connie who heads up a website that teaches people how to eat healthier with the food that they bring into their homes through SNAP, food pantries, commodities, and farmer’s markets.  She does this in a way to help people stretch their budgets and to encourage the people who visit her website to form a community to share tips and ideas with one another.  Her site isn’t just for food stamp users…but for anyone on a tight budget who wants and needs to eat well.  Food Stamp Cooking Club

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Today I did an interview with Louise Sattler who is the creative owner/operator of  http://www.signingfamilies.com.   Louise is an expert trainer at workshops and classes that teach American Sign Language to help people communicate with one another.  She is also a certified school psychologist who has an awareness of the importance of the need for families and community leaders to learn sign language.   Sign Language opens doors and bridges gaps for people who are hearing impaired, or who may have developmental delays or special needs.  Communication is something that many people take for granted.

Put yourself in the position of a person who is hearing impaired, or a person who lives with special needs; and, consider some environments they they may experience differently than you; such as a trip to the hospital or emergency room.  How different would the experience be for you if you were the one who had difficulty making your needs known to the health care professionals.  Or say you are an elderly person who is experiencing hearing loss…how are you going to communicate with other residents or say the staff?   How about shopping or getting educational services at college or in elementary school?   How about ordering a meal in a restaurant?   Do you see how the quality of life can be improved for people impacted in this way?   Can you see how sign language could open doors for people if others in the community took the opportunity to learn it from someone like Louise or through her DVD’s?

Click on Image to listen to Interview Click on Image to listen to Interview

If you are interested in learning more about Louise and her educational services please listen to the interview here:  http://www.rapidcashmarketing.com/lorrainesinterview/signingfamilies.htm

I have moved to a new Url here: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more of my blog posts!

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When are people going to wake up to the fact that we need to stop allowing instances of evil and violence to be glorified on television, movies, books and in our music?  Isn’t it obvious that the world has been turning this garbage into “entertainment” and that it is having a terrible influence on our society?  Today there was two distinctive situations that destroyed lives that is shockingly cruel in the fact that the victims of violence were totally innocent.

A nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina has 8 dead people , 7 residents and a nurse, because a young man came into the nursing home and started shooting at people.  The reason is unclear at this point.  It is alleged that his estranged wife works at this nursing home although that is not confirmed.   An unprovoked attack on innocent people that would have been much worse had it not been for the heroic actions of a 25 year old police officer who was able to stop the shooter.   While the news media covers these terrible bursts of violence…we must learn to carefully balance how these things are addressed in the media; so that they do not become gloried examples for those with similar thoughts.

Another equally upsetting situation; an ex-con attacks his sisters and kills two of them…one a five year old child on her birthday.  He kills his 17 year old sister by brutally stabbing her…then, he goes after the five year old and decapitates her as the police come in.  She is found near her birthday cake.     The nine year old sister had called the officers…some how she was stabbed as well; she is in the hospital with injuries.  Not only has she been injured, she lost members of her family and she has to live with the images of death and violence.  This brother was clearly a person out of control; it was alleged that he had some kind of a run-in with a neighbor the evening before as well.

We have people who dont know how to resolve their personal problems…committing violence and killing innocent people.  We have loners, and mentally ill people who do not get treatment.   Our economy is so tight that those who desperately need mental health treatment do not get it because of cost.  We need to seriously consider spending more money for preventative well-care programs for people at risk for such behaviors.

I would really like to see people stop supporting slasher/shoot them up shows and movies with their dollars.  These type of entertainments only serve to encourage those who are bent on venting their anger and revenge or for those who are mentally unstable on taking out their rage on innocent people.  How do you protect yourself and your loved ones from random violence?  It is impossible.   Is anyone else sick and tired of these things  happening in schools, shopping malls, nursing homes and colleges, etc?

I have moved to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more of my blog posts!

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       As a person living in the midwest, in one of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last 25 years…i have to say i was irritated when i read that since President Obama moved into the White House the thermostat has allegedly gone up.  For a man who made it part of his campaign to encourage Americans to sacrifice for the world environment and to take on a personal responsibility regarding climate changes; I am offended by an article that i read today that says the Oval office is like a tropical hot house, warm enough to grow orchids in.  Someone needs to hold this administration accountable in these types of areas…turn down the heat on President Obama.

       Across our nation right now, many Americans are without electric or typical normal heat sources because of an ice storm, that is going to take weeks to fix.  This is during some truly challenging temperatures as our country transitions between winter and spring.

       Part of the perception of the recent, more relaxed environment in the Oval office…meaning that visitors no longer have to wear suit jackets when they enter in like the former administration; is really more about personal comfort levels.  It isn’t mainly about being relaxed in that room as much as it is about it being warm; so that wearing a suit and tie would be really uncomfortable.  While I applaude the more informal feel to this Presidency…I have to say that even the White House staff and aides have commented on the temperature change; including his chief of staff, David Axelrod who  allegedly, made the statement about the orchids growing in there.

         The article I read said something to the effect that even though President Obama comes from Chicago…he was born in Hawaii, and he likes being warm.  Well, no fake…most of us don’t enjoy being colder than is comfortable…but , what about that personal sacrifice he was talking about before?  I dont want to bust his chops on this or any other issue just for the sake of it…but…this subject is a little close to home when my own family has to keep the furnace set on 58-60 degrees because of the necessity of the high cost of heating our home.

        Another, more important reason this is so maddening is that in my home state…there have been several people who have frozen to death.  A man by the name of Marvin E. Schur, 93 years old, froze to death recently in Bay City, Michigan because the electric company put a limiter on his electric service and his home power was shut off…effectively causing his heating source to stop working.  He died…come on…was that President Obama’s fault….no!  However, when i hear polyanna remarks justifying his higher temperature on the thermostat in the Oval office; it makes me angry to know that others are SUFFERING AND DYING when there are others who have so much and are wasteful with it.  It is not right.

        So please President Obama…you have so many other more important things on your plate…turn down the heat in the White House so that your actions match your words and your call for personal responsibility.   That way, those who would otherwise be inspired by you and your goals of helping our nation turn towards more green living and a more positive use of our energy sources can get on board without having to defend your conflict of words and actions!  Be an inspirational leader so that you can have a powerful impact on our country with responsibile energy use.

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        Today is a life affirming day of recognition….it is the Sanctity of Life Sunday…a day when most churches and individuals choose to celebrate life and inspire individuals to cherish & protect it.  Many churches concentrate on the issue of teaching that abortion violates the sanctity of life (I happen to agree)… however, there are many, equally important ways to honor and celebrate life.

        While abortion is a horror to me and i think it should be repellant to all human beings; that issues comes up at the very beginning of life.  There are other circumstances that need to be addressed as well. 

          There are issues such as injury, illness and those who fight for the right to commit suicide.  Life is precious at all stages.  Should we turn a blind eye to those who would turn out the light of another human being simply because they are infirmed, disabled, impaired, terminally ill or have no desire to live another moment?

            For those who truly believe in the sanctity of life…it gets a bit stickier for some when you enter into the idea of criminals who commit heinous crimes; and, the criminal justice system offers up the death penalty or death row for certain individuals who have been convicted of crimes that can dish out the death penalty as punnishment. 

        For me that is a bit trickier –i have not sorted out the boundaries of my beliefs on that.  Criminals who commit the most horrible, vile crimes….it is a struggle in my heart to remind myself that God says, “Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord”.  But, if that verse is applied strictly…then…punnishment will come later from God (in the meantime…life in prison without parole is the only recourse to prevent further tragedy).  

          On the other hand, there are scriptures that also talk about an eye for an eye…and if a man take a life he must also forfeit his.  So…this part of the sanctity of life, i am still working out in my mind and heart.  Until i have studied the issues more closely..i am going to err on the side of; Life is precious and must be protected…at the beginning of life, in the early part of life, in middle age, in the elder years and in all stages in between.

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       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

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       I don’t know about you but hearing about the elderly being abused makes me mad.  Yesterday on my home television station there was a terrible story about a elderly woman who was allegedly abused by her own son. 

       She was left on her couch allegedly for approximately three weeks without medical help.  She was so weak from lack of food and fluids that she could not even get up off of her couch.  Her home was so filthy with her own waste that the emergency workers and police who checked on her, became violently ill in the front yard of the home.  It sounds as if the woman’s social security checks were being cashed regularily though.  The news reports say that the woman allegedly did not have a shower/bath for up to one year! 

       The poor woman has had to have surgery…her home was in such disrepair that it was condemned by the authorities.  Where in the world has respect for life gone?  This is a failure of our culture to fail to make sure that all of our older friends and relatives are nurtured, cherished and protected.  Sometimes, the elderly deal with memory issues or mental illness; this is an especially important circumstance to get social workers and medical personel involved with, especially if they don’t have a close supportive family system in place.   It would be bad enough if this was an isolated case in our country; but, it is not. 

         Everyday the elderly are abused and neglected in their homes, in medical facilities, in nursing homes and on the streets.  It is an outrage.  Yes, the elderly require time and attention.  Yes, it can be difficult for the caregiver; as they are loosing their independence and ability to do many of life’s chores on their own and often they resent that fact; however, it is important to take loving care of our elders.  Time is short and spending time with your loved ones is special.   You can never get that time back with them once they are gone.  The difficult and challenging times will pass.   The elders in your community have many memories and experiences to share; take advantage of that time with them to store up knowledge and memories.

         Just showing some caring and concern for the elders can make a difference in the quality of life for them.  Offer to do a kindness for them such as pick up their mail for them; or walk their dog…take them to medical appointments, or grocery shopping.  Some tasks are too difficult for an elderly person who is unsteady or has medical issues; like, going up and down stairs to do laundry or shoveling their walkways or raking leaves.  

         We all will be elderly one day if we are blessed to live long enough.  Please, check up on your elderly neighbors, your parents, your friends; visit with them and help to relieve their loneliness.  If you see someone abusing or neglecting an older person (or any person for that matter) get involved…call the authorities!  You never know…you could be saving a life.   If you suspect elder abuse report it:  http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

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