Lest the average reader and our county representatives think we do not know of what we speak, actually we do. My wife and I have been in ministry to the elderly for 25 years. We lived in southern Westchester and have visited dozens of nursing homes in Manhattan, the Bronx, Rockland County and Westchester. While some were considered to be quite exclusive, most were not. All had one thing in common, they were privately owned and for-profit. And very depressing.
When the time came that we could no longer continue to care for my wife’s mother at home, we were incredibly grateful that she was able to live her final 15 months in such a beautiful, nurturing environment. Do our elderly and infirmed deserve anything less?
Despite the sarcastic and insulting comment made by Representative Stuligross, the constituents of Representative John Kozmer do “read the papers” and do understand the financial difficulties faced by the county. Hence, we need to explore his proposals and look for alternative methods of subsidizing Otsego Manor. It is a large enough facility that some seemingly small measures could yield significant results. For example, steps could be taken to conserve electricity now, while we look into alternative sources of energy, as the county has already installed at the jail. The technological resources exist right here in Otsego County and the location of the Manor in such an open area makes it a prime candidate for either solar or wind power.
We need to take a lesson from our neighbors in Delaware County. We have a moral imperative to care for the weak and vulnerable among us. They are our parents and grandparents and the Greatest Generation . And they are us.
Randy and Connie Velez