September 12, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 37

Letters to the Editor

Vulnerable Adult Awareness month

To the Editor:

There are good reasons for Governor Parnell to proclaim September 2013 “Vulnerable Adult Awareness” month. Alaska has the fastest growing senior population in the nation. Reports of harm to Adult Protective Services have risen 183% in the last five years. The Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman now opens four times as many cases each month as it did in 2009. Our state has many vulnerable seniors who need us to stay vigilant so that their dignity, safety and rights are protected.

The Ombudsman recruits and trains volunteers to visit seniors in assisted living and nursing homes. Every day volunteer ombudsmen advocate for seniors who are unable to speak for themselves, sometimes even saving lives. I invite Alaskans to consider this volunteer opportunity and to call us at 334-4480 or 800-730-6393 for more information.

Diana Weber

Long Term Care Ombudsman

Keep it healthy

To the Editor:

On a recent visit home to Petersburg it has been brought to my attention that the Public bathrooms at the Harbor Master office have not provided soap or hand sanitizing materials in over a year.

According to the CDC's official website, a large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands and it is estimated that washing your hands with soap and water could reduce diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50% and can reduce the risk of of foodborne illness and other infections and reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%/. Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented.

I feel these bathrooms are a poor representation of Petersburg and are often frequented by tourists and visitors who are getting the impression that locals don't wash their hands. Let's do our best to fix this issue and represent Petersburg as a clean and healthy community.

Kylee Kvernvik

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