Letters to the editor: We must act to protect health

Published 3:13 pm Monday, April 23, 2007

By Staff
For very selfish reasons, I would like my grandchildren raised in Brewton. For the past 27 years, I have enjoyed a quality of life that would have been impossible had I stayed in my hometown of Miami, Fla. We have enjoyed the safety and intimacy of a small town, which is hard to match. It was always reassuring to know that if one of my kids got &#8220out of line,” the story would get back to me without much delay.
Keeping generations of families close-by also has significant health implications. Young couples with small children, who often need two incomes to survive, have a tough time getting care for a sick child, especially when there is no loving grandparent available. Sadder still are the problems I see in the patient population I serve.
As people get older, we require more help doing the simple things. Finding safe transportation - to the grocery store, the barber shop or the doctor's office - becomes a hardship. Supervision of medications is also a major problem. Older people require more medications to keep them stable, and it doesn't take too many missed doses or double doses to create a dangerous situation.
Loving companionship can engage an elderly family member who may be suffering from depression or feelings of worthlessness. Such companionship can transform them into a contributing member of the larger family.
Three years ago it became obvious that my wife's parents were no longer safe living independently in their home in Jacksonville. Consequently, Marsha and I decided to move them into our home in Brewton. They were able to live here with us successfully for two years. Until his death last year, my father-in-law was determined to make a contribution to our household.
Though unsteady on his feet, he was always the first one up in the morning - he made the coffee. After a meal he wanted to clean the table and load the dishwasher. I believe the time that he was with us brought him a sense of worth. I know the experience certainly taught me several valuable lessons.
What's the point of this letter? It is simply this. If my children and your children are able to come back and live in this city, we need an economy which will provide good jobs. This will require new and expanded businesses, settling and developing in our city.
With roads lined with garbage, we are hardly giving a potential investor a reassuring impression that he should invest in us. Please become a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
To assure our own good health - personal and economic - we must act.
Dr. Dan Raulerson

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