The need to stop turning our heads away

Posted Oct. 15, 2008, at 8:06 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 3:25 a.m.

We live in a country today that is all about image. This quest of the “perfect” eye appeal has given rise to a variety of maladies that plague our society.

We are so busy that we neglect our young and especially our old. The elderly have become a burden to families; at one time they were revered and lived in the home as extended family and a source of wisdom.

Today there are many facilities for the aged that have the eye-appeal image that Americans strive for. I think it may ease the guilt to place a family member in an institution that presents itself well. Unfortunately, because of insufficient staff, education levels, state restrictions, etc., these facilities are nothing more than white-washed sepulchres. Dorothea Dix must be turning over in her grave.

In our society today, when encountered with an animal abuse situation, you would have code officers, media and concerned neighbors all taking those dogs in, caring for them and bringing them back to the quality of life they deserve. Society not only follows through to make sure the animals are convalesced but they prosecute those who mistreated them.

Animal activists, don’t misread me — I believe animals should be loved and cared for. But have you taken the time to visit a local nursing home lately? You could be a family member, and have a genuine concern, but because of confidentially laws, your hands are tied.

I know of these problems firsthand. I feel that my mother is getting substandard care. I have found her bruised, with a sprained wrist, a bump on her head, her skin so badly broken down that the tissue was weeping; and she has had many trips to the emergency room that I was not informed about.

The people that oversee these facilities have been notified on several occasions and when given pictures as proof of the above situations they didn’t want the pictures. My brother and I have been left out of the loop even more.

I keep speaking but no one is really listening. This is my dear mother we are talking about. If my hands were not tied, she would be living with me.

For too long we have been turning our heads when wrongs are committed. We justify in our minds: If we are not causing the situation then it is not our problem. If we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem. I intend to be part of the solution.

This has prompted me to want to become part of the solution and run for state Senate. This will be one of my top priorities if I am elected.

The people who are losing their jobs and in foreclosures are in my heart. We all know this is tough and the future is uncertain. I want to be your voice in Augusta during this time. These tough economic times make me want to represent you even more.

The homeless have always been a top priority to me also and will continue to be. They could be any one of us.

Deborah Deane is the Democratic candidate for Maine Senate District 31, which includes Brewer, Bucksport, Orland, Orrington, Holden, Dedham, Bradley, Milford, Clifton, Eddington, Otis, Amherst, Aurora, Orland, Castine, Verona Island, Lowell, Burlington, Penobscot, northeast Hancock and Mariaville.

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