Opinion

Watching the conventions, caring for elders

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The major political party’s conventions are over so now we all know how to vote a couple months from now in the upcoming Presidential election. Surely each of you watched both the Democratic and the Republican conventions. Me neither but I did watch both of the presidential candidates nomination acceptance speeches.

Former Vice President Joe Biden did fine with no gaffs for his 24 minutes in front of the camera. In his address. I suspect that he had practiced and was good at reading his teleprompter. Very little audience was present and all those properly masked up and seated social distance apart in a not very large room. It all looked kind of sterile to me.

President Trump ran a major length of time long at some 70 minutes behind the mike. It looked very much like he spoke off the cuff and didn’t lack for excitement. Obviously, the teleprompter was in in action as they are hard to hide in the subdued light outdoor setting. I couldn’t tell if he used it much. His use of the English language was better than normal as he embellished his long list of accomplishments as commander in chief going on four years in office now.

Joe Biden a man who has been in the congressional halls in Washington for nigh on to 50 years. His is a record of very little controversy, and if one looks, never any sign of leadership ability. In my opinion, that is why he was chosen to be the vice president for President Obama, no controversy. Joe the good guy just going along to get along and never taking a strong principled stand on anything.

President Trump had the most patriotically stirring setting to make his speech. Just outside the people’s house in a recently restyled Rose Garden. His audience appeared large as they sat in chairs arranged in rows and spaced closely together like normal people. There were very few people wearing face masks. It was a really big show with a huge fireworks display following.

With President Trump we know what we’ll be getting if we reelect him to office. I would suspect that electing former V.P. Biden to office would see him continue his historical mode of no leadership but just continuing to go along to get along, only with more authority, as others behind the scene pull the strings to motivate him. Personally, I would prefer the transparency that we have seen in how the Republican candidate conducted the nations’ affairs during his time in office.

Stay tuned and vote wisely.

Over the years of living here I have gained an appreciation of what a valuable asset our Hillcrest Nursing Home is to this area.

Yes both my parents and Grannie Annie’s mother happily spent their final days residing there as their needs grew larger than family could reasonably compassionately care for them. Honestly I grew to love the place. So it is for the senior elderly and disabled persons in the area that are able to have a better life in an institution designed to economically meet their needs and yet family members can come and go to visit their loved ones as they wish. It is a win win for both the residents and their caring relatives. That there may be questions as to its future a recent article in this paper indicated what may become a problem for you and me.

A bit of history. In years past the Red Willow County Board of Commissioners decided to build an “Old Folks Home” on land donated for that purpose by the Wacker family. The County hired a manager to operate the facility and all revenues and expenses were accounted in the regular county financial system.

Evidently that form of operation got a little tiresome for the County operation so the Board of Commissioners appointed local citizens to a board of governors for Hillcrest who had authority to hire and fire the manager and keep the financial records. Red Willow continued to own the facility which in turn operated as an independent business. That is its status today.

Over the years Hillcrest managers have come and gone, some good and some not so good. The building was expanded to the east requiring building a second story as the terrain sloped away considerably. Don Harpst, an enterprising manager, then created independent living quarters and a daycare in the open space created below as it was necessary to keep primary living/working space above on one level with no stairs.

Over the years, all worked fine with revenue covering expenses. When finances got upside down then the County, the facility owner, stepped forward to cover deficiencies. Not long ago details like a leaking roof, a poor design of a flat roof, required a major repair which required dipping into the County budget which the Commissioners reluctantly had to approve.

One of the major problems with running the facility is that State and Federal entities dictate how much care must be provided to the residents. Yet the State and Federal reimbursements through Medicaid doesn’t cover the required expense of care. For those residents on Medicare or Veterans Affairs that reimbursement barely covers the required expense for the demanded level of care. To make up the deficient the practice is to raise the rates for those residents that are “independent pay.” The problem is that the independent pay rate become so high each month that it becomes almost untenable. Still if they are operating at a deficient then the County is reluctantly required to furnish funds to break even.

What has happened in recent years is that nursing homes get sold and way too many closed due to poor management and the governmental bureaucracy ineptitude. What happens then is that residents who require nursing home care are moved to a distant facility if one can be found to take them. No or little visitation due to distance and they die lonely. Who would want that?

Would out Commissioners let Hillcrest be sold and closed? Do they see keeping it open and healthy with tax money as may become necessary? Are they closely watching the management and making correction if appropriate? We built and maintain a county jail so which is more important care for our long productive and wonderful long-living elders or tending to the younger miscreants among us? Pay attention because those commissioners do work for we the people!

That is the way I saw it.

Dick Trail

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    Mr. Trail

    I wasn't going to respond to this article because it would be a waste of time, since you saw the conventions in the direct opposite that I saw them.

    But after reading the article in the Atlantic that came out today 9/3/2020, written about YOUR Commander in Chief. The article goes on to say that tRump calls people that have given the ultimate sacrifice to their country as losers and suckers. I guess it wasn't enough that he said John McCain was not a war hero because he got captured. He has also called George Bush a loser for getting shot down during WWII.

    Now we find out the worthless idiot would not go to the Ainse-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because it would dishevel his hair. HIS HAIR!! He lied when he said the helicopter could not fly in the rain, and lied when he said the Secret Service would not drive in the rain. Lie after lie, lies that have added up to well over 20,000 verified lies during his administration.

    Now I ask you to defend this person that does not deserve to have one person that is presently serving or has ever served to vote for him. If all the lies over the past 3.5 years, all the porn star payoffs, the missing 41 million dollar shortfall from his inauguration, and his total mishandling of the virus, his so called Christian values that are proven false everyday, the fact that he has not said one word about the Russian bounty on our troops, the poisoning of the Russian dissident Navalny, the withholding of the report of the Russians and their attempt to plant lies about Biden's health, tell us why you can still support him after the article and his views on the military and those that have served and died for their country. The man does not deserve to ever again be called Commander in Chief.

    -- Posted by fit2btied on Thu, Sep 3, 2020, at 9:48 PM
  • Very good comment fit2btied

    -- Posted by S&P1958 on Wed, Sep 16, 2020, at 7:26 PM
  • I served my country in the military for several years and fully support Donald Trump. You can speak for yourself but you don't speak for me. MAGA 2020.

    -- Posted by 82er on Wed, Sep 16, 2020, at 10:00 PM
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