Vail Daily column: Help those who have made Eagle a better place
In general, being cautious of what you say in a public is always a good idea. In a small valley such as Eagle County, keeping your nose clean is important. An error in judgment could have unintended consequences, such as finding out that you have quietly been placed on the outside of “the circle.”
I sure hope I don’t find myself in such a situation by addressing the following.
With so many nonprofits in Eagle County, I wonder why there are fewer than a handful that provide for the elderly. I’ve asked a number of my cotemporaries and business associates why they think this is. Across the board, I hear that most people surmise, “People choose to support the ‘future’ — thus, our youth.”
I get it. I have two young children, and I do my best to set them up for a successful future. My wife and I value education, the arts and sports and feel a great sense of responsibility in ensuring we raise confident, healthy, compassionate and well-balanced children who have purpose.
Within Eagle County, we have an exorbitant amount of charitable organizations with great missions. However, think for a moment about any that are focused on our elderly. Can you name one? I can think of one local organization, Eagle Valley Senior Life. (If I missed such an organization, my apologies, please educate me and let me know of organizations.)
While not a “nonprofit,” there is the Alpine Area Agency on Aging (970-468-0295), which supports many mountain communities with services that promote independent aging for the elderly. If you felt inclined, then they would be grateful for any financial support. They also offer many volunteer opportunities.
A friend and long-time local nurse called me a while ago asking to borrow an oxygen compressor that had been donated to my office. It seems that my friend was trying to assist a person who was in a situation where private insurance, Medicare and/or Medicaid were not options for providing such a basic need as oxygen.
I’m also aware of another recent situation where a long-time local elderly couple was no longer able to safely drive and had therefore missed numerous medical appointments. One such missed medical appointment was for a review of heart medications. This missed appointment may have been a factor in a subsequent heart attack.
There are numerous stories of such elderly people who have contributed greatly throughout their lives and now find themselves in need of assistance. Unfortunately, within our valley, there are not visually apparent charitable organizations that focus on assisting our communities’ elders.
Have you ever thought about how many veterans live in our valley, retired educators, nurses and many service professionals who reside in our county and need to make financial choices that jeopardize their health and lives? Many need to move away in order to maintain a lifestyle that meets their needs.
How do we, as a community, support and assist these individuals who devoted their lives to serving others to make Eagle County great and now live in need our services?
Next time, when looking to donate your time, resources or dollars, think outside the “box” and think of a way to be of service to this segment of our population.
Should you have any questions, suggestions or ideas about this article, feel free to reach out to me. I am looking for help and guidance on methods to give back to those who have given so much to our communities and more.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. Contact him at 970-328-5526 or visit http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns.