Letters to the editor, December 17- December 30

The Editor:

A gentle reminder that before you start rumors, get your facts straight.

Here are the facts: Tuesday, December 8 after the Blaine basketball game, a young man was hit in the parking lot at the school. Having just witnessed the accident, I immediately attended to the injured individual while another bystander made the 911 call. When the officers arrived, I provided my statement and contact information.

As for the individuals involved in the accident, well, that’s private information.

Wendy Olinger

Blaine

The Editor:

Holidays can be stressful, but they can be especially difficult when caring for a loved one with dementia. Here are some tips to keep the holidays merry:

Simplify. Try to decide which traditions are “musts” and which can be skipped. Or, try sharing responsibility for traditions with family members or friends. This can be a fun way to get a job off your plate and pass on a tradition at the same time!

Ask for and accept help. Many people want to help but don’t know how. Tell them! They’ll be glad you did.

Prepare your family and friends ahead of time, so they know what to expect when visiting your loved one.

Be strategic about visitors. Schedule visits during your loved one’s best time of day, and try to stick to small groups. Invite visitors to your home – staying in a familiar environment can lessen anxiety.

Engage in holiday fun! Your loved one could stir cookie dough, open cards with you, or reminisce about favorite holiday songs. Focus on the journey, not the result.

Take a break. Family caregivers experience a high amount of stress. Fifteen minutes a day to yourself can help you keep illness at bay and enjoy the holidays to their fullest.

Be compassionate toward yourself. Give yourself permission to navigate the stress, anxiety and grief you may feel. Do whatever will be helpful for you.

Thanks to Leola Adams, MA, and Alzheimer’s Music Connect for some of these tips.

Kathy Sitker, executive director, Alzheimer Society of Washington

Bellingham

The Editor:

I agree completely with Jerry Spatz’s letter concerning the lack of mental health and substance abuse treatment options that could reduce the jail population. Until treatment options have been funded as a means of reducing the need to incarcerate the mentally ill and substance abusers, I will continue to vote “no” on jail funding.

There is one more way to reduce the jail population, however; electronically monitored home detention for non-violent offenders, who may include offenders who are not mentally ill or substance abusers. Instead of the city or county government paying the daily jail rate, the offender pays the cost of the electronic monitoring, while being able to remain employed.

Basically, the offender is required to be at home, except for authorized absences, which can include employment, community service, religious services, medical care or educational or training programs. An ankle bracelet with GPS that tracks his or her location monitors the offender’s whereabouts.

Electronic home detention is truly a win-win solution to reducing jail populations. Yet I heard not one word in the new jail debate about electronically monitored home detention as an alternative to incarceration.

Just maybe, if there were a little innovative thinking, the county would discover that the current jail actually has enough capacity to incarcerate offenders who need to be incarcerated to protect the public.

Pat Anderson

Birch Bay

The Editor:

We want to build a state-of-the-art senior housing community, featuring a wing serving the special needs of Alzheimer’s patients. It would be located on Lincoln Road just south of Blaine.

At the last minute, county staff denied the project’s permit on spurious legal grounds. Now, to rescue our dream from bureaucratic red tape, we are forced to take our case to court. The county hired an outside law firm to defend itself, which is costing all county taxpayers a bundle.

All this bother and expense threatens to ruin a much-needed facility. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this affliction is increasing at epidemic rates and is expected to more than triple by mid-century.

Today, Alzheimer’s causes more deaths than diabetes, breast and prostate cancer combined. Unfortunately, no clinically proven methods exist to prevent, or cure, or slow it.

We know the need first-hand because we both have relatives in elder care facilities, and one of our grandfathers spent time in what passed for Alzheimer’s care back in the day. We want to provide other seniors with the quality care he deserved.

We’ve made it easy to let your elected officials know you support this project. Please go to ipetitions.com/petition/help-lincoln-park-senior-community-get-built to sign our petition. For more information you can visit our website: lincolnparkseniorcommunity.com/how-you-can-help.html

Julie and Mike Carney

Bellingham

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