Cross posted at Daily Kos.
This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of National Grandparents Day, first proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. The origins of the honor to our parent’s parents originated with the lobbying efforts of Mrs. Marian McQuade (now age 91), a housewife from West Virginia, whose primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly often abandoned in nursing homes.
It’s one of our greatest fears as we age – that we can no longer remain independent, maintain our own homes, and physical limitations will ultimately force us into a living situation we’d never chose for ourselves. Even the absolute best of assisted living situations may be less than desirable when compared to one’s desire for independence. That’s why I believe the best way to honor that greatest generation now struggling to navigate the world, is to do absolutely all we can to support seniors wishing to stay in their homes whenever possible.
My girls, now in their teens, know they have to look no further than their Grandmother, my Mom Vi Kissell, for their greatest advocate and ally in life, with a wisdom only a grandparent can provide. At 93, she still maintains the house she shared with my late father, and in which she raised my brother and I. Of course, it’s work on our part to make sure she’s okay, but it’s some of the most rewarding work of my life, and my Mom wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I get to Congress, I will work to expand Medicare's coverage of home health care so that Seniors have the option of living independently longer and can get a little help without having to go into a nursing facility or live with family. I believe we have to do all we can to help Seniors and their caregivers and I hope you will join me in supporting this often overlooked, but very important issue.
My opponent has voted multiple times to cut Medicare and Medicaid. He has also repeatedly voted to raid the Social Security trust fund. It's a shame, because it makes good economic sense to keep seniors in their homes where they want to be.
Churches, communities and Congress have a positive role to play in supporting our seniors. I hope this National Grandparent’s Day, you’ll accept the challenge as well. Our seniors are all our grandparents and all deserve our support.
You know, "We can do a lot of good on the way to Washington" is more than a campaign slogan. It’s a philosophy of action that my campaign practices daily. I encourage you to join us this weekend, and support your local senior center, Meal on Wheels or just check in on an aging neighbor.
It can make all the difference in their world.