Well hello there, my two or three faithful readers! You may be wondering where I’ve been all summer. For a long time I was feeling depressed and discouraged and having difficulty keeping up with the basic activities and responsibilities of daily life. I have some continuing medical issues, and for awhile there it seemed to be increasingly difficult for me to keep abreast of those issues by myself. I’m on a fixed income, and it was hard meeting my basic expenses month to month. It looked as if I would have to move into an assisted living center in North Carolina, a move about which I had mixed feelings at best.
Then in July, after a long time on a waiting list I was notified that I qualified for a program known as Community Long Term Care, which is funded through Medicare and Medicaid. Under the program, I can stay in my home and have an aide or attendant come to the house five days a week for a few hours each day to help me with health, hygiene, and housekeeping issues. I have a “lifeline” system installed so that I can quickly call for help in an emergency. I can have meals delivered during the week, and I’m also receiving assistance from a local food bank, which reduces my weekly spending for food and makes budgeting easier.
All these improvements have made a huge positive difference in my mood and attitude. With a basic safety net in place, I don’t have to worry quite so much about basic survival and can think more about what to do with the rest of my life and about ways I can make a positive contribution to the world. My main worry, however, is that I seem to be depending most heavily on government assistance just at a time when terrible economic conditions may require that government at all levels reduce spending dramatically. If Caesar giveth, Caesar can also take away. I know times are lousy, and governments will have to rethink their priorities, reduce spending, and balance their budgets, but I hope ways can be found to do these things that will not harm the poorest, the neediest, and the most vulnerable.