Janice Ayres: President, Harry Reid stand up for what’s right
For the Nevada Appeal
“You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something sometime in your life!” – Winston Churchill
Kudos to President Obama and U.S. Senator Harry Reid for standing up for health care for nearly 40 million uninsured Americans when most of the criticism was uncalled for and purposely full of misinformation to kill it.
Thanks for not caving in to the greedy insurance barons and the terrific political pressure when knowing full well it could cost you both re-election. Our uninsured Americans were obviously more important to you than an election and I hope everyone remembers that because it is rare.
Speaking about standing up for something brings me to RSVP’s Respite Care Program. When RSVP realized that 1 in 4 Nevadans was a caregiver of a seriously ill loved one with no financial resources to hire a relief caregiver, RSVP decided to provide a program for those caring for loved ones 24/7 rather than institutionalizing them.
As a result of our efforts, RSVP now has well-trained volunteer caregivers who have passed criminal background checks and are ready and willing to give caregivers a break from the stress and strain of constant day and night care.
These family caregivers are actually prisoners of their loved ones’ disease and 40 percent of them die before the person they are caring for, thus placing the loved one at extreme risk for placement in a care facility. Caregivers providing 24/7 care are generally an elderly spouse caring for another elderly spouse; however, the emotional and physical stress of never having an opportunity to get out and follow some normal pursuits of enjoyment becomes overwhelming and the collapse of the caregiver follows.
Having time away from this stressful situation helps caregivers revitalize and know that they are not alone in this situation. It is also healthy for the one being cared for because they get to have a new experience with someone other than their caregiver. They get to tell their stories and hear new ones.
It is a win-win situation for everyone, especially the taxpayers who must pick up the tab for indigent seniors for a cost of around $87,000 per year per senior if institutionalized. RSVP does not charge for its services; however, donations are always appreciated. This program was made possible by a grant from Sen. Harry Reid.
RSVP offers other programs such as Home Companion, Transportation, Lifeline, Resistance Exercise and CARE Law; however, we need volunteers to run them. If you have a few extra hours to help, we desperately need more drivers for seniors who are no longer able to drive. Call 687-4680 ext.6.
• Janice Ayres is executive director of Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program.
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