LETTERS: We are one community; Facilities need help

We are one community

COVID-19 is affecting millions of people throughout the world, bringing all human beings, our health system and the economy of many countries to our knees. Already the global virus has caused an alarming number of fatalities even in developed countries.

We need divine assistance, and being on our knees we are never closer to God who is our merciful Father and has the ultimate solution.

This invisible monster, which cannot be seen nor felt and weighs nothing, has already paralyzed most of the world as more than 100 countries are reporting transmission of COVID-19.

All countries in the spirit of one humanity need to respond with combat and conquer this monster, by praying together, serving one another and sharing efforts and resources. Countries with existing humanitarian crises involving millions of people like in war zones, refugee camps and immigration detention centers and with displaced people are particularly vulnerable.

U.N. officials and aid organizations are bracing for what they fear could be a cataclysmic second phase of this pandemic.

COVID-19 is called a pandemic from two Greek words: “pan,” meaning all, and “demos,” meaning people or population.

This terrible virus that affects the whole world teaches us that humanity is one community, as Pope Francis constantly reminds us, and that we can only get out of this situation as a whole humanity working, praying and sharing together in a spirit of compassionate solidarity and cooperation, which we are already witnessing in many significant ways.

Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI

San Antonio

Facilities need help

As a social work student, I was shocked when I learned about the reality of assisted living facilities in the state of Texas. The number of assisted living facilities in the state is steadily growing. The amount of elder abuse cases also rises.

In order to improve the quality of care for the residents at these facilities there are changes that need to be made.

In this state there is not a set staffing ratio, which leads many staff members to feel tired and overworked. The educational and training requirements are low, leaving staff insufficiently prepared to work with the residents in these facilities.

These factors contribute to the high rate of elder abuse cases. In the year 2016, Texas ombudsmen received 3,598 complaints concerning assisted living facilities.

It is our duty to take care of our family members, and to care for those who have cared for us. However, we may not always be able to provide the type of care that the elderly need, which reestablishes the need for assisted living facilities.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of regulations, I cannot imagine placing a loved one in an assisted living facility.

Texas assisted living can be better. By determining a staff to resident ratio we could help prevent understaffing at the facilities and the overworking of employees. This would help improve the quality of care.

Raising the education and training requirement for staff would also help ensure that they are better prepared to care for these residents.

It is our duty as family and community members to advocate for those who are vulnerable. I ask that everyone who reads this to contact state legislators and urge them to help. We owe it to our elderly citizens.

Klarissa Garcia

Mercedes

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