March 17 Letters to the Editor

Posted March 16, 2010, at 5:09 p.m.

Boost adult day care

An article appearing in the Feb. 24 Midcoast Beacon (a BDN publication) about the benefits of adult day care for families caring for a loved one with dementia discussed a community support that can be the critical link needed to keep a loved one living in the community.

The ability for families to be able to access adult day services is vital for someone needing these services. Essential funding for some families to access these programs has been on the chopping block as the 2010-2011 state budget is being debated. This would only be a trade-off to higher cost care that would not save Maine money.

Adult day care programs provide a place for people living with dementia to socialize and provides a family with respite and so much more. Medical model adult day care can provide medical and medication monitoring, as well as physical and occupational therapy. Assistance with tasks such as bathing or help with other activities of daily living are provided by some programs.

Sometimes, it is this assistance that allows families to keep a loved one home. The alternative to a nursing facility is a costly alternative that could be delayed or forgone should necessary community supports be available to families.

It is important to legislators know that Section 61 funding for adult day services is important for families and taxpayers alike. Nursing facility care should not be a cost assumed by Mainers when more fiscally sound alternatives exist.

Alison Ashley

Glenburn

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Save the sardine

Let me begin by offering a statement of full disclosure — I am an ardent sardine eater and a loyal consumer of Beach Cliff Brand (buy American, buy local). It is a sad day in the great state of Maine when we, as a people, cannot produce a can of sardines, preferably in oil.

I would hope that all of our elected officials would do whatever is necessary to ensure that our sardine industry is kept alive.

Perhaps, our two U.S. senators could do the correct thing and vote for a health care bill and parlay that vote into more herring for the people of Prospect Harbor.

William Boardman

Islesboro

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Scarcelli for governor

Recently I had the opportunity to meet Rosa Scarcelli, Democratic candidate for governor, and I was overwhelmingly impressed with her poise, intellect and her vision for Maine’s future. After meeting her, I firmly believe Rosa Scarcelli is the candidate who can turn around Maine’s damaged economy and shattered budget.

The only way to get Maine going in the right direction is by changing the culture of Augusta and this change must start at the top with new ideas and new energy. All of the other candidates, unlike Rosa Scarcelli, are products of Augusta and will almost certainly give Maine more of the same.

If you want to see Maine shake off its anti-business mentality, and if you want to see revenue grow by bringing new business to Maine, and if you want to see budget cuts directed at programs that don’t work, then take a look at Rosa Scarcelli.

Check out her Web site, www.rosaformaine.com, which has a ton of detailed information about how she plans to turn Maine around, and there is a great place on the site to share your ideas. Take a look at Rosa Scarcelli for governor. Maine has so much potential for a better future; we just need a leader who can get us there.

Jeremy Pratt

Camden

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Bill supports families

The Maine Senate recently voted ought not to pass on LD 1624. However, this bill is crucial as its supports family cohesiveness. This bill allows relatives to petition the court for visitation of a child whom they have cared for and have a sufficient existing relationship. Currently, the law only grants grandparents the right to petition for visitation rights after a child has been returned to their home of origin.

I have a particular interest in this bill, because I strongly believe children form attachments with their caregivers and deserve the right to remain connected to those who have temporarily cared for them. It is necessary that children not experience a sense of abandonment once they have returned to their home of origin. Children form bonds with their caretaker-relatives, which cannot be replaced and can damage the child’s well-being if the relationship is severed.

The passage of this bill is important for several reasons. First, it allows for greater natural support for the child. Last, this bill protects children from having abandonment issues as they mature. In consideration of the best interest of children who are affected by these circumstances, I encourage voters to support this bill in the future.

Cheyenne Cross

Belfast

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A time to act

Health insurance reform came close to home this week when an uninsured friend received medical test results. A positive outcome is expected; yet the experience allowed us to walk in the shoes of more than 40 million uninsured Americans. Please imagine this person as your friend, because without reform, someday he or she may be.

This individual was unsuccessful in past attempts to purchase insurance due to high premium costs. Insurance agents confirmed this week coverage for this individual’s diagnosis no longer exists, because it has become a pre-existing condition. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

The recent televised health care summit showed Democrats and Republicans in agreement with 70 percent of legislative insurance reform. After a year of ongoing meetings between both parties, the medical community, and the American people, the summit revealed areas where additional common ground is attainable, and the president has put forth ideas to bridge these gaps.

While the health insurance industry spends more than $1.4 million a day to kill the legislation, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius instead has urged the industry to work with the administration on ways for improvement.

Annually, Americans are dropped by insurance carriers because they have become ill. Daily, Americans are denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Every 12 minutes, an American dies because of an inability to access affordable health care. We, as a country, are better than this.

It’s time to pass reform by a majority vote. It’s the right thing to do.

Diane Smith

Cushing

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