Vail Daily letters to the editor
Vail, CO, Colorado
Rosalyn Carter said it best: “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.”
You are a caregiver if you are a daughter or son, spouse, relative or friend helping someone limited or unable to do things for themselves because of illness or disability.
Given the complexity of caregiving today, it is often a new job that comes on top of all the other roles you currently have.
Being a caregiver often requires learning new skills, shifting priorities, and making difficult decisions.
Caregiving is hard. How could it not be, when it means someone you love is having difficulties?
But it doesn’t have to be as hard as it is. One way to make it easier is to learn as much as you can about what it means to be a caregiver and where you can find help, information and support.
My late husband had suffered from debilitating MS for several years when we moved to Eagle County in 2000. We struggled to find enough services to meet our caregiving needs.
One of the important services we needed was personal care assistance to give me some respite. It took an extensive search to find someone who was willing to be mentored and trained. Now that service is available in Eagle County.
On Jan. 11 from 3 to 5 p.m., there will be a fireside chat with caregivers at the fireplace room in the student center of Colorado Mountain College. It is free.
The goals are to let the community find out about CMC’s personal care attendant course, to educate people on the caregiving resources in the county, and to discover who is interested in this topic and build a caregiver community.
The fireside chat will be led by Pat Hammon, a registered nurse and instructor for personal care attendant training; Patricia Nolan, health and wellness program coordinator for Eagle County; and me, a representative of the National Family Caregivers Association.
Personal care attendant training, one of the fastest-growing occupational needs in the county, is now offered at Colorado Mountain College. Participants will train to be a home care worker, paid care provider, family caregiver or volunteer by enrolling in this class.
In a recent survey of the 10 best jobs in 2012, home health is listed as fourth, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The personal care attendant class in not currently offered anywhere else in the central Colorado region.
The course at Colorado Mountain College is open to those age 16 and older, and a high school diploma or GED is not required. The class at CMC College in Edwards runs Saturday, Jan. 28, to March 24. To register call 970-569-2900.
Fact, fiction, news or what?
Having spent time in the Summit and Eagle County areas, I always felt the people from these small mountain towns were overall reasonable and good-hearted people. I enjoy reading your local paper.
The last few years have puzzled me when reading letters to the editor. Where are these good citizens getting their information? I sometimes feel that I’m reading imaginary tales.
The U.S. has a political system that is among one of the best in the world, but not perfect, like everything else.
However, in my opinion, money from wealthy individuals and now from large wealthy corporations (thanks to the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, which doesn’t benefit citizens and defines a corporation as a person), is making it more difficult for our representatives to represent the ordinary citizen.
Again in my opinion, term limits would only make the situation worse — another discussion.
All said and done, the question still remains: Is what you hear fact or fiction? Are you doing fact checks?
In recent years, true journalists have been called all sorts of derogatory names. However, it is the journalists who have to live by a standard or they can lose their job and/or respect, being pushed aside. Real journalists risk their lives at times getting the story right, especially in war.
They don’t sit behind a desk and spew out semi-truths or unfounded allegations, like radio talk show hosts that receive tens of millions of dollars a year to draw an audience — usually based on what someone hates rather than facts.
I admit that I’m a news junkie. I’ve tried to listen or at least see the highlights of all the presidential candidate debates.
This year it is the Republicans; last time it was the Democrats. I will be listening to Saturday night’s ABC’s New Hampshire debate.
I try to get my news from actual journalists and reputable programs that present both sides of the story, and I don’t need cable TV.
I record many of the programs to listen to later. Many programs have roundtables with participants of opposing views: Sunday mornings it’s ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and “The Chris Matthews Show,” CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Monday through Friday it’s PBS’s” News Hour” and Charlie Rose , just to name a few on PBS. Friday night or depending on area could be Saturday or Sunday: “Need to Know,” “Inside Washington,” “McLaughlin Group,” “Frontline,” etc.
I believe that if our citizens were to view and listen to these programs, they would not only become more evenly informed, but would also be more civil in their discussions on politics and the government. Remember, history repeats itself.
Thank you for reading this letter and wishing everyone a great 2012.
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