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Letters to the editor for Nov. 6, 2021
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Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor for Nov. 6, 2021

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Home care investment needed

I moved from Ohio to Virginia to care for my 99-year-old mother who suffers from dementia. That was three years ago, and I haven’t had a day off since.

I’m completely burnt out. Each month is a new struggle as my mom’s health deteriorates.

As her primary caregiver, I’ve lost a bit of myself and my health. I’m dealing with so much and have no help.

My only respite is a state-provided in-home caregiver that comes for 20 hours a week. Most importantly, the caregiver bathes my mom, something I couldn’t do alone. But these caregivers are horribly underpaid for the work they are hired to do.

As a result, there’s a caregiver shortage and families like mine can’t find qualified and reliable in-home care for their loved ones.

Without decent pay or benefits, caregivers are fleeing the profession. Agencies don’t have enough staff to meet the needs of our local community so there are long waitlists to get care.

Even when your loved one is receiving care, it’s extremely difficult to find reliable care. If caregivers call out sick, there is no one to fill their shift and my mother’s care falls solely onto my shoulders without a moment’s notice.

But there is a way out of the caregiver crisis we are currently facing. Congress has finally come to an agreement to pass Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. This includes an unprecedented investment in home care — a robust expansion of care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Now, it’s time for Congress to meet the moment and deliver. We have to keep pushing forward until this bill passes.

LAURA MACKLIN,

Rustburg

Kids’ vaccines should be parents’ choice

President Biden in a speech on Nov. 3 was very pleased to announce that COVID vaccines will be available to children 5 to 11 years old. He urged all parents to get their children vaccinated, and some schools in our country plan to make it mandatory.

Perhaps President Biden should review his CDC statistics. Only 94 children ages 5 to 11 in the entire United States have died from COVID. All youth deaths are sorrowful, yet approximately 600,000 abortions are performed in the U.S. each year. Is Biden really concerned about our youth, or is he just pushing an ill-advised political agenda?

It’s time for all Americans to tell Biden that we as parents will decide what is put into our children’s bodies or whether they will wear a mask or not. This should be our decision. Our children are ours, not the government’s.

SAM BARLOTTA,

Forest

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