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Posts Tagged ‘social workers’

       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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        For those of you who have never heard of Operation Smile it is a great not-for-profit organization that organizes volunteers who team up to medically improve the lives of children who were born with facial deformities.  The non profit was begun by Dr. William P. Magee, Jr. who is a plastic surgeon and his wife.  

         Together he and his wife Kathleen S. Magee, who is a nurse and clinical social worker, put their skills into practice since 1982, working towards helping improve the life conditions of children who have been impacted by cleft palates and other facial deformities.  For a relatively low cost of approximately $240.00 a child’s life can be radically changed.  The impact of this life changing operation can not be praised enough.  Improving a child or young adult’s self esteem is invaluable to the quality of life they will have.  Many people who are born with facial deformities endure physical and emotional hardships due to the mistreatment from others.  Building up children and their families by bringing this kind of health services to them that they could not possibly afford on their own is a major humanitarian contribution.

           Operation Smile has grown to include a large volume of volunteers who labor to bring health and happiness to those who receive the benefit of it’s services.  At this point, over 26 countries are considered partner countries who are actively working with Operation Smile.  Their headquarters are located in Norfolk, Virginia.  They have offices around the world to educate and bring awareness of their cause and in those offices they work to raise funds to pay for the charitable works that they do.

        If you are interested in donating either your medical skills, your time, or fundraising abilities or even donating money here is the number to call 1-888-OPSMILE (888-677-6453) .  In Norfolk they also bring children to America to receive care on scholarships that they might not be able to receive in their own country for the more complicated surgeries.  Training is also provided for those with medical skills who wish to advance their specialized skills for work in the area of facial deformities.

         Cindy McCain, a philanthropist and businesswoman has been on Operation Smile’s board of directors for some time.  She has worked with this organization since 2001; long before her husband, Senator John McCain became a Republican presidential hopeful for the 2008 election.

          If her husband’s run for the presidency brings some attention and focus on her work with Operation Smile; I don’t think that Cincy McCain will mind.  That focus may bring more medically skilled volunteers as well as donations of money that will help Operation Smile to continue bringing, hope and help to those in need.  http://www.operationsmile.org/   Is there a willingness in your heart to help or to donate to this great organization?  https://www.operationsmile.org/help/donate/

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