Once upon a time at Far West Big U., for instance, a search-committee member wondered aloud: “Can job candidate Venerable, who seems to have a little arthritis, get around this campus fast enough? Maybe we need his medical reports.” Once told that asking for medical reports was illegal and that Mr. Venerable was the same age as Mick Jagger, the member retreated, harrumphing. (A decade later, Mr. Venerable was still hiking and cross-country skiing, Mick Jagger had had a hip replacement, and the committee member was dead.)
Archive for August, 2005
Trantham remarks draw fire
Senior Center staff defends care of elders (**see note below)
By Jesse Keane, Thursday, 25 August 2005
For the Tundra Drums
Amber Petersen, coordinator of the Adult Day Program at the Chief Eddie Hoffman Senior Center, arrived with other center employees at the Aug. 9 Bethel City Council meeting to object to a radio discussion on KYUK critical of the center.
“We were accused of neglecting, abusing, and ignoring our elders,” she said. “We were accused of shirking our responsibility to make sure elders are taken care of.”
These accusations, she said, were supported on the show by a city council member. “He said that all the horrible things that had just been spoken about the senior center were absolutely true and correct.”
Petersen was joined at the microphone by colleagues and elders. Mary Gregory, a supporter of the senior center, said, “If anyone wants to challenge us, let them try it for one day.”
Mayor Hugh Dyment cautioned his fellow council members on their public statements. Words are very powerful, he said.
“As council members, if we are going to speak in public, we should have the facts at hand,” Dyment said.
Councilman Dave Trantham, who spoke on KYUK about the senior center, expressed frustration that the senior center employees had not tried to speak with him directly before appearing before the council.
“I’m surprised that the mayor allowed it,” he said. “This was probably an attempt to discredit or embarrass me, but it didn’t work.”….
Neglect of Bethel Elders again -
The radio discussion was about neglect, not abuse, by the operators of the Senior Center (see letter to the editor, Delta Discovery, posted here
http://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/17/ letter-to-the-editor-on-neglecting-seniors/ Interesting that the City staff directed the ad hominem attack on Mr Trantham and did not respond to the charges of neglect.
Mr Trantham called in as a citizen; never identified himself as a city councilor; and never spoke for the City Council.
Mr Dyment is a “weak–mayor” [see Wikip] who functions as discussion facilitator for the Council as a whole. Or serves in this case to threaten first amendment protection of free–speech. This is the same Mayor Dyment who believes the City’s restrictive religious oath of office should stay in place or be considered simply as “ceremonial deism”. Not too many small time mayors can get in whacks at the entire first amendment, with facts on neither hand.
Assisted living homes’ cash woes left elderly in lurch
Caregivers kept working, bought meals with own funds
By LISA DEMER Anchorage Daily News
Published: August 28, 2005
Last Modified: August 28, 2005 at 01:00 PM
A couple who ran a string of mom-and-pop assisted living homes in Anchorage virtually abandoned 20 frail and elderly residents in their care as the Sweet Lorraine’s Home Care business slid into financial turmoil, according to state investigators.
The administrator in charge of day-to-day functions stopped buying food. Staff paychecks bounced. Alarmed relatives couldn’t find out what was happening. Families of some residents who paid months in advance couldn’t get refunds.
But it could have been worse.
As the Sweet Lorraine’s enterprise came apart, the workers stayed on the job even when they weren’t being paid. Caregivers bought food for residents with their own money. And when state officials realized the extent of the problem, they and the staff moved quickly to make sure all the residents had a place to stay as they closed down the five homes, family members said.
The decision to put an elderly relative in a home comes with built-in anxiety: Will the place be clean? Will caregivers treat your mother or your uncle well? What if there’s abuse and you don’t know about it? What if there’s a medical emergency?
Sweet Lorraine’s had a good reputation with social workers and home health care workers, Spoon said. Caregivers walked with their charges outside. No one sat around all day propped in front of the TV. Spoon liked that she could pop in at will.
“They seemed to be the best fit,” Spoon said. “I think I didn’t ask the right questions.”
State health officials said the home turned out to be unlicensed and shut it down in July. The administrator was asking families to pay too much extra money in advance, the investigation found.
More and more Alaskans will soon face the challenge of finding good care. In Anchorage, the number of people age 65 and older is growing at five times the rate in the country as a whole. In five years, their numbers are expected to swell by 10,000, to nearly 23,800, according to a June report by the Institute of Social and Economic Research that relied on U.S. census data.
A popular option is assisted living, which provides help with daily life — eating, dressing, walking, taking medications, going to the bathroom, and bathing. The first licensed assisted living homes in Alaska opened just 10 years ago. Their numbers have boomed to nearly 450 statewide as of June 30.
Most are private homes that serve three to five residents in family neighborhoods. Some specialize in the elderly, others in people with disabilities.
Assisted living homes are a growth industry.
The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger at Fenway Park in Boston
The combined age of the four band members is 245 – but they proved they have no intention of slowing down.