On Senior services
The City of Bethel, ONC, and the Senior Center spend nearly a million dollars a year on our “senior programs”. Under the Older Americans Act, these programs are to provide nutrition, transportation, and support services. One of the objectives of the OAA is “Freedom, independence, and the free exercise of individual initiative… and protection against abuse, neglect, and exploitation.”
The state’s Adult Protective Services
requires “Any incident in which a vulnerable adult suffers harm from abandonment, abuse, exploitation, neglect or self-neglect.” must be reported.
Who is *Required* to report includes health practitioners, members of the clergy, and law enforcement but also “Employees of service grant agencies funded by Department of Administration for the provision of services to older Alaskans, the Department of Health and Social Services, and the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault”
So, why are some elders in our community, who regularly attend our Senior Center, so neglected that their bodies have deteriorated?
There are only two cabbies left who will transport these elders. If these cabs are on the other side of town when the Eddie Hoffman Senior Center calls for a taxi, these guys feel they have let the elders down, because no one else will convey them.
I want to publicly thank the two Kusko Cab drivers who exemplify the compassion and caring and respect we should all have towards our elders. These two go out of their way to respect the dignity that some elders struggle to retain.
This community spends all this money on senior services, yet these two small businessmen contribute so much more. The rest of us should take the lesson to heart.
M. Pamela Bumsted
Senior Advisory Board member 2003-2004