I'm not the only person who cares for a disabled loved one at home, but sometimes it feels that way. As I read about the wounded veterens returning from two failing wars, my heart breaks for those family members who were just getting by and now have lifetime responsibilities dealing former soldiers with brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, or other conditions that will prevent them from having a normal life themselves with those who love them.
Folks here know that I'm rarely away from home for more than a few hours at a time. In fact, if my wife's daughter hadn't agreed to spend the weekend at our place, I'd never be able to do something like DemFest. I also have a unique form of therapy for myself for when the stresses of caregiving overwhelm me. I can take my guitar into the subway and scream at the world for a couple of hours, and this has kept me balanced through the years.
I've heard about the ways that our veterens are being screwed nine ways to Sunday by the greedy cowards that sent them off to fight their war crime. Men and women who have sacrificed so much are being screwed out of their rightful benefits. They return home and for many, their middle class existence is a thing of the past and a wife or husband, parent or sibling is now faced with the double hardship of caring for a severely disabled person at home and trying to keep the roof over their heads, or their children in school.
If only this great nation could provide for these caregivers with the same benefits we afford to foster parents, we could lift some of the burdens that they bear, and even help to keep these families in tact. The cost to the system for home care by a family member is far less than care in a nursing facility, and far less than that of sending someone from an agency. A way should be found to share the cost saving with the overstressed, burned out and forgotten people who are in fact on the frontlines for those who cannot otherwise help themselves.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Back in 2003, someone had an idea for a get together called "DEANSTOCK," which was billed as "Three days of music, fun and Howard Dean." This crazy idea later morphed into DemocracyFest, and although I didn't get to the first one, this year I'm going, and I'll be performing at The Blogger's Breakfast.
Last night I ordered the T shirt pictured above for the event and I hope that it will plant a seed in the minds of the party activists: Put these two men in the White House for eight years and America has the chance to reclaim it's rightful place in the 21st Century.
That would be a Deaniac dream come true.