:harp:I was inspired by a thread about parental responsibilities, dead bead dads and mothers, and who should pay for the innocent children affected. Through no fault of their own, little ones go hungry, have no medical or dental care, while some blame the system, the irresponsible parents and the high cost of living. I believe ***we are ***"our brother’s (and sisters) keepers, and invite your opinions along with creative ideas.
A young Virginia child’s mother had medical coverage, but not enough for additional dental care and her child developed a cavity and an infection. A kindly dentist offered to help at no cost, even the necessary surgery, as the infection had spread.
It was too late. The child didn’t receive care in time and tragically and needlessly died.
Instead of blaming the poor mother, I wonder if there are more ways to avoid such tragedies, and please list yours here too:
One way to help: Many cities offer several days in large conventions centers for free medical and dental care for anyone: homeless people, families in distress, etc. No charge, all sponsored by a number of independent, private companies and some Federal help. Can this kind of help be expanded? Can we as Catholics join in to help more people?
B]Example: Our Elderly Brethren. Can we do more for them? *
A woman cannot afford follow up care at a physical therapy treatment center for a non emergency arthritic condition. Her copay is $75 a visit, and the center wants her to come three times a week.* In addition, the insurance co.'s part is @220 per visit.*** That is a total of $445 a week*** for the three visits for the grandmother, over a period of six months. The grandmother asks, could she just come once a week? No, these exercises need to done at least three times a week if not daily. The grandmother asks if these visits, which include only a gentle neck massage and a hot pad treatment (a 30 minute visit) is really a cure. Could she not take home a booklet with photos of the exercises and also use a heat pack?
Looking at the patient cross eyed, the assistant admits there is no cure, hands her the booklet and shakes her head, even as the grandmother explains her fixed income. Later that evening, the grandmother lets her insurance company know that she chose not to attend the three expensive visits when there is no cure and is investing in a heating pad.
Cost of visits: $445 a week for one year (you can do the math)
Cost of heating pad ($10.) Cost of daily exercises at home in this unique case: $0.00
The insurance company rep is actually grateful. At a parish event later in the week, the grandmother listens to several other elderly women who tell of similar experiences. Some could not afford to go at all, some went only a few weeks, and some had more serious issues.
***Are we doing enough for our elderly brethren? ***
Are these rising costs an unending trend? What can we do for people on fixed incomes?
One Possible Answer: Honesty from health care centers and alternatives for those unable to pay. Some parishes have their own Elder care advocates.
Example: Insurance Lobbyists
will most likely approach and pressure candidates from both sides of the political fence, driving up costs. Rather than get into a political debate, how can we help people who have lost jobs, homes, and cannot afford care when we are all struggling to care for ourselves and our families? Must it be political-ended or can we make creative possibilities available? Or can we somehow manage, as citizens, to provide private/charitable solutions?
So, are we our brothers and our sisters keepers?
I say yes. We’re all in this together. Since many of us are struggling ourselves, are there any charitable, private ways to do better than we are doing now? Can we expand the once or twice yearly open call in the town convention centers offering free medical/dental care or it that naive?
Not to get into a political debate, but those against a universal one payer system, are you opposed to finding private corporations to sponsor the above kinds of city wide freebies to the homeless? To those who have lost jobs, homes, and families with children living in cars?
Can Catholic parishes, already sponsoring soup kitchens, poor people within and outside of the parish, food pantries, occasional referrals and generous relief services here and abroad, find even more creative ways to help more people in distress?
Idea starters: Please add to this list!
sponsoring battered women’s shelters and homeless shelters already in place, (which many parishes already do).
Also, more idea- sharing seminars between parishes to deal with unique challenges in their neighborhoods.
Another way is to fight youth gang violence. Some parishes invite police officers, school board members and school principals to community meetings. Reaching our troubled youth is always an excellent start!
Checking in more often with our elderly parish brethren seems a must. Many need help with filling out complicated medical and insurance forms, in addition to needing help with hot meals, finding assistance for which they may be eligible for through social services.
These are just starting points. Your ideas welcome!**:angel1: