Eagle County can do better for seniors | VailDaily.com

Eagle County can do better for seniors

Debbie Buckley
Avon, CO, Colorado

Five days after the election one of the Minturn seniors passed away in the nursing center in Carbondale. I visited her in Carbondale when I was on my way to the Roaring Fork Valley to campaign. The facility was nice, clean and she was treated well by the staff. But she missed her friends and family. And they missed her.

Lottie lived in Minturn for most of her life. Her daughter cared for her as long as possible, but her daughter had to work full time. After Lottie’s last trip to the hospital, she could not be left home alone. She had to go to Carbondale because she needed more care than we provide for our seniors in Eagle County.

Lottie’s friends and family made the 140-mile round trip drive to visit her in Carbondale as often as possible. If they could have made a 55-mile round trip to Eagle to visit her they would have visited more often. Lottie is just one of many seniors who have not been able to live out her final days in our community and as a community we are worse because of that. Before the rest of us moved here to play, they were ranching, working in the mines and working for the railroad. They built the towns where we live and play.

Every two years when there is a county commissioner election, the candidates talk about expanding senior care in Eagle County. The people who have helped make our community great should have an opportunity to live out their final days in our community. To be a complete community we need facilities and services that will keep our aging family members and friends close us.

I ask you to join me in keeping this issue on the table for the Board of County Commissioners. Urge them to facilitate a solution by bringing seniors, senior care-givers, health-care providers, hospitals, non-profit foundations, developers, land owners and other people who are passionate about this issue to the table.

Yes, I have a soft spot in my heart for seniors, but I am not the only one. During my campaign I found that people of all ages believe this is an important issue. Two years from now, I hope this is not an election issue.

I hope we will make significant progress in solving this problem before any more of our seniors have to leave our community. Don’t do it for votes. Do it because it is the right thing to do. Do it for Lottie.

Debbie Buckley


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