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Vote ‘yes’ for long-term care | Letter

On Nov. 2, voters in San Juan Public Hospital District No. 1 will decide whether or not to purchase the Village at the Harbor and oversee its continuing operation — with a focus on aging at home.

How will you vote?

1. My experiences: I have worked as a nursing home attendant; NH private caregiver; had many relatives need respite, transitional and long-term care; and over 51 years as an Emergency Physician. I referred patients to and received patients from nursing homes while trying to advance a holistic patient-by-patient approach to aging and illness. In the main, our current system is not efficient, does not meet many patient needs, nor family hopes. The current system is not user-friendly and is also costly.

2. Facts:

• Over 64% of 65+ Americans will require a degree of continuing care in their lifetime, (acl.gov)

• 35.2% of SJC residents are 65+ old, (2019 census.gov)

• Living on an island makes some ‘mainland’ solutions & tools unavailable to us,

• The situation will worsen if we don’t act; 10,000 Americans turn 65 EVERY DAY. (2019 Census.gov)

• Long-term care problems affect patients, their families, caregivers and loved ones.

• Furthermore, programs that address the aging/living situation are not well coordinated with other programs that try to address this multifaceted issue, resulting in poor resource usage.

• The answers to this issue will require a unique caringly focused public-private solution.

• A coordinated approach is the best value physically, emotionally and dollar-wise for all.

3. Transparent proposal: Review the six-year proposal/budget at SJCPHD.org/ltc.

The initiative and its budget are well detailed. Its objective is to coordinate the best physical and financial practices, leverage existing resources and keep us close to family/community love and touch — so basic to a meaningful life.

It incorporates the needs for the current reality of limited transitional/respite care space. It prescribes current best practices, long-term planning, and enhanced care coordination.

4. Summary:

The proposal is a logical central component in the much-needed work toward cost-effective holistic aging in place, appropriate and effective home care, and provides resources to reduce the risk of going ‘off island’ to a nursing home. I will be voting YES!! Please join me in this value-based solution.

Warren Appleton MD, JD

Friday Harbor