Another Note About Help

April 3rd, 2013

My last blog post about how to assist people on the street looking for help led me to peek in on the China Hush blog where the writer highlighted places where people fear to access public services. Those of us living in the Western hemisphere have had mixed experiences when looking to our governments for help and support in times of trouble or when reaching an age where adding to a retirement pension is simply impossible.

When I first became disabled, I required the assistance of food stamps to manage before my disability insurance became available. The help was most essential and offered without the shame or embarrassment attached to those asking for help in an earlier age in the USA might have experienced. However, the violence attached here is something many of us fear may someday be attached to future needs in countries living day to day in economic despair. It is essential to know that access to lawful assistance has to be without the risks shown in the above article. When illness struck me in California a few years ago and I requested help with finding a temporary residence, the place offered was so unsafe, I chose to avoid taking that help. Loss of stable housing remains a constant danger to the chronically ill.

The Guardian has announced that they are lowering the boom on residents with housing benefits in England who appear to have an ‘extra’ bedroom in their units. Exceptions are only being offered to those with children in the armed forces or those offering foster care services. One wonders how many elderly people will be forced into marriage to afford keeping their units or raise a child they are ill equipped to do at their stage of life. When the sick and aged are told to face a loss of some 700 pounds annually to have an additional wall between themselves and the neighbor’s family so they can have a decent night’s sleep, you have to wonder where the cuts will take them next. It has already been mandated that patients undergoing hospitalization need assistance from family or friends, not always available when needed.

Lest you think this is the opinion of a smug American, I can assure you this situation also exists in the USA. Hospital patients also require the help of others to ensure their well-being while those on public assistance need to demonstrate medical necessity for an extra room to avoid being placed in a closet-like setting in our larger, urban areas.

Categories: Letters

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