To Our Elected Officials:
There are a lot of ways to make money. If you are already an elected representative or senator in Washington, you’ve figured that out and you’re all set. You will not have to worry about where you can live or where your next meal will come from. You are even able to send all of your kids to college and cover any upcoming health related needs for your family. So, that’s good.
You are also well educated, talented, smart and savvy because that’s what got you to Washington in the first place. Plus, you have a good sense of how to work to help others, your constituents.
This is a good time in history for you to be in Washington to help govern as we seem to be at a crossroads. We need to choose the direction we want the United States to go and it seems to be up to you now as our elected representatives. By the time anyone reads this the impeachment trial will be over and you’ve made your choice. I know you’ll sleep better if you can really say you made the right choice for all of us and our dear country.
As I mentioned, there are a lot of ways to make a living and with your education and talent — you actually have more choices than many of us. You are in a good position to decide if getting re-elected at any cost is more important that making the right choices you can sleep comfortably with.
In his guest column on Feb. 6, Mr. Roff decries the horrors of government intervention in the health insurance market and calls on the insurers to own their responsibility to their customers as a solution. The only responsibility that I expect they will own is to maximize the profit for their shareholders.
I’ve been in a group plan and the individual market. I’m currently on Medicare with a good medigap plan and I would never go back. You either get insurance through your employer, who will negotiate for the best price but not necessarily the best plan, or you buy it yourself, in which case you take what you can get or settle for what you can afford and worry about coverage and benefits later.
Some folks are concerned about a government bureaucrat deciding on the status of their claim but dealing with a corporate bureaucrat whose bonus depends on how many claims he can turn down is far worse. As for the cost of various schemes to provide coverage for everyone, you’re going to pay it one way or another.
With aging, comes change. Many elderly people can no longer get around. Seeing friends and family is no longer an easy task. Their children have grown up and maybe even their spouse has died. So, what might they do? Isolate.
Humans are social beings. We need connections in order to thrive. Research has shown that people who are socially isolated have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system and even premature death.
Losing our connections and sense of community can have a big impact on our perception of the world. Lonely people often begin to feel threatened and mistrustful of others. This leads to anxiety, depression, cognitive decline and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Even when a senior has loved ones caring for them, they may still become lonely. Caregivers may reach a point where they can no longer give. Deep and engaging conversations become a thing of the past. Loneliness has even been said to be contagious. Those interacting with solitary seniors may begin to further isolate themselves. Caring becomes their life, and the things they used to enjoy doing may diminish.
It’s so easy to combat loneliness — we just must be willing to do it. We need to listen and observe, develop strategies to defeat seclusion, let our elders teach us, bridge the generation gap, realize it’s our thought that counts, and consider senior living. It’s time to take a stand for our seniors and their struggles. Let’s start today.