Elder abuse too common in Ky.; help stop it
In Kentucky and throughout our nation there is terrifying elderly abuse. Older adults are part of a vulnerable population who are preyed upon through neglect, physical and emotional abuse and even financial exploitation.
This abuse is not limited by race, ethnicity, gender or religion. This is a crime against humanity, which often leaves the individual defenseless. These actions are often committed behind closed doors by caregivers, who end up frequently being family members. Also, victims fear turning in the perpetrator, which may result in further mistreatment and even threats of institutionalization.
Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services reported that it receives over 61,000 reports of abuse and approximately 9,600 of those cases were allegations from people 60 years or older.
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There is something that we all can do. First, if you have the suspicion that someone is a victim, call the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-752-6200 (voice) or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY). It can be anonymous. Second, support Kentucky's initiative to bring further awareness to elder abuse.
Third, June is Elder Abuse Awareness month, so contact the Northern Kentucky Elder Maltreatment Alliance Committee and see how you can be of service.
Break the silence — report it now.
Marilyn Sails and Tracey Sponcil
High school lacrosse in Kentucky is a growing, fun, fast-paced sport that could use promoting from the local media. Many skilled student-athletes are playing this sport in Kentucky and in the Lexington school systems.
Lexington has an undefeated team at Henry Clay this season and is ranked No. 2 in the state. This team is building a program that plays at a high level and has a pipeline of student-athletes who commit themselves each day to play this sport at their very best.
As a parent of a child who grew up playing this sport in Maryland and is now the head coach at Henry Clay, we would love to see these student-athletes in the Kentucky High School Lacrosse System have their hard work promoted and supported by the local media.
I grew up in Kentucky playing football and running track at Shelby County. As a student-athlete, I know how great it was to see our team's name in the paper each week.
I would like to mention oversights over the years by the Herald-Leader of prominent Lexington athletes whom the Courier-Journal of Louisville featured prominently.
In the late 1970s, many of us were not aware of Olympic-level skier and world champion Tamara McKinney. The Courier devoted an entire magazine section to McKinney — a color insert on a Sunday that was a fascinating read that did not seem of interest to local papers in her town.
Another Olympic athlete that I read about in the Courier-Journal was Dorothy Trapp and her horse Molokai in the mid-1980s. The Louisville paper offered repeated articles about our Central Kentucky athlete. At that time, I was so incensed I called our local newspaper. An editor suggested that I compose an article and the newspaper would print it. I did not deem myself as a worthy writer at the time.
Oddly enough, I will now suggest that our local newspaper give more coverage to a Lexington Catholic basketball champion who won the Kentucky three-point shooting championship and other accolades.
Dillon Avare is a scholar-athlete and from Lexington and the Courier-Journal offered a feature article about him and, again, another champion gets insufficient attention in our hometown paper.
The editors missed by a day the correct placement of the John Rosemond column printed April 2.
I do not begrudge Rosemond his wonderful, balanced, two-parent, middle-class and racially favored childhood. However, to extrapolate from personal experience a broad conclusion that "we" all shared the same is an absurdity worthy of use in a logic class.
To claim that our great grandmothers "probably raised a lot more kids and experienced very little stress" flies in the face of social, medical, legal and psychological history. Just think what a ball it was to see your infants and toddlers die of childhood diseases, and how much fun it was to be widowed at 44 with no means of support and seven little children.
But according to Rosemond, in the good old days there were no alcoholic mothers, there were no abusive mothers (or fathers), there was no poverty-induced stress, probably no developmentally disabled children, and definitely no sexual abuse within the family. Would that life were ever so idyllic in the '50s or any other time.
The man does deserve credit, however, for convincing newspapers to pay him to repeat the same mantra. His childhood taught him the biggest lesson of all: how to make a living as a con man.
Repay Social Security
The money owed by the federal government to the Social Security Trust Fund is over $3 trillion.
Democratic and Republican presidents, representatives and senators were responsible for borrowing from the fund. They simply used it for political gains for their respective parties and supporters.
We would not be having the current debate over the ability of Social Security to meet its future responsibilities if the money hadn't been used for other purposes. Neither Congress nor the president have talked about repaying this money.
I propose that the federal government be required to repay this debt to Social Security and that Congress legislate a lock box that prohibits raiding the fund in the future.
Had this legislation been in effect, it would have forced presidents and Congress to reform our expensive, twisted tax code and rein in wasteful spending.
Presidents and the Congress are primarily interested in splashy new spending. It enhances re-election support for incumbents. As important as maintaining and improving infrastructure is, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid maintenance are not politically exciting until the wheels start following off.
Taxpayers who are least able to afford cuts are the ones that bear a disproportional burden.
We elect self-serving, agenda-driven politicians rather than people who serve us with intelligence and common sense. The politicians' goal is to get in office and remain there by demonizing opposition instead of solving problems in open debate.
For example, a party states that the opposing party wants to eliminate Medicare. This is a total lie which cannot be challenged because there has not been open debate where such an accusation may be factually substantiated.
There are dozens more situations where intelligence and common sense play no role in the decision made. One case in point: Remember one purpose of past stimulus money was to hire more police officers? Perhaps a good idea, but how smart is it to release over 2,000 illegal residents back into circulation who may have committed other crimes? The intent of this action was solely to lay the blame on the sequester.
President Barack Obama says that this was a Republican idea. Not only is that false, Obama did sign rather than veto the bill.