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Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: All caretakers need empathy

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Empathy for all caretakers

I have read with interest all the articles in the editorial section regarding the difficulties of being a caretaker for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It was reassuring to read about those who responded with advice and names of support groups. Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease for the patient and family who watch their family members, etc., slowly lose touch with reality. My mother-in-law suffers from this disorder.

As heartbreaking as this disease is, it occurs toward the end of life when most people have lived and been employed for several years, had families and experienced what most of us consider normal life events.

But in the case of caretakers of disabled children who are afflicted with autism, as is our son, Down syndrome and other developmental disorders by three years of age or at birth, we become sadly aware that our children will likely never live a normal life as we know it. The task of caretaker for our children, who in many ways will forever remain children mentally and emotionally, can be as or more overwhelming for different reasons. They may never be able to live on their own, attend mainstream classrooms, participate in typical social activities, date, marry, have children, drive a car or attain full-time employment.

It is devastating news to parents who have high hopes for their beloved offspring.

As parents of these children, the entire family is affected in ways that others cannot comprehend. We begin to worry very early on about what paths to take to ensure our children’s well being, including a variety of therapies; intervene on their behalf when they are incapable of defending themselves; and prepare special-needs trusts with an attorney to take care of them when we die, well aware that no one else will ever love or take care of our disabled sons and daughters like we did when we are gone. Therefore, there is little peace of mind, and depression and broken marriages are commonplace. Of course, the real victims are not the caretakers, but the children, who face a very challenging world that is tough on “normal” people, much less those who are disabled.

Recently in the news was a reprehensible letter that a “mother” sent to the mother of a son with autism. Among other disgusting remarks, she suggested that the boy with autism be euthanized, as he had no value to himself or society. I thank God that our son cannot comprehend the hatred that emanates from such a disturbed person. Pray for our peace of mind please and that of our disabled children, who as adults can easily fall though the cracks of care.

Mary Shofi Volpe

Tampa

Double whammy in Pasco

Pasco County: What’s wrong with this picture? Obamacare, gas prices, homes still in foreclosure and empty, and working hours being cut to avoid health care costs.

Pasco’s answer is raise property taxes and gas taxes. Hello — we have bigger problems than potholes and grass being cut in a timely manner. Compare wages to other counties; ours are too low. Hillsborough County property taxes are lower, and Pinellas County gasoline runs 15 cents to 20 cents less than Pasco’s.

And these people are worried about Pasco’s growth. You have got to be kidding.

Richard Guardado

Zephyrhills

Sounding alarm

I keep waiting for someone besides myself to comment on the humongous amount of money USF has received for “navigators” of Obamacare. Does it not bother anyone else in the area that Tampa is the epicenter of IRS tax/ID fraud? None of the “navigators” have to undergo background checks or criminal checks through fingerprinting. Does this not just beg for further fraud and theft of ID information?

Not only are the “navigators” hired with no credentials, they have “aides” who are also hired with no checks. And these people will have access to our medical records, financial records and all the other information the government collects on us? Does this not ring every alarm bell in the county?

Sandra Sawyer

Land O’ Lakes

Give Obamacare chance

Now that Obamacare is getting closer to being fully in effect, the Republican Party is ratcheting up the rhetoric. Why can’t they offer something helpful? What we have now doesn’t work. What we have is far too expensive, and what we have has us ranking 43rd in the world. What we have is forcing thousands of people to self-medicate themselves to an early grave.

Obamacare was approved a few years ago and is already helping seniors with drug costs and lowering insurance premiums by a significant amount for a number of people. Does Obamacare have faults? Probably so. But there has been plenty of time to offer constructive solutions to fix problems. Congressional cooperation can fix them now.

Gene Volz

Tampa

TV and fan development

Early this year I started watching the Rays on TV. I got hooked and started going to games. I take my whole family, eight of us at times, but sometimes only six. We sit in the lower level and buy hats, shirts, drinks and food, all because we get to watch all the games on TV. I don’t go to Bucs games, because I have lost interest in the team. I never get to see them play and have no opportunity to develop any sort of loyalty. Maybe if I ever saw the Bucs on TV, I might get interested, but due to the NFL’s insane “blackout” policy, I watch other NFL teams. I may as well root for a team I can watch on TV.

Les Rayburn

Dade City

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