Thanksgiving. Aside from turkey, potatoes, gravy, pies, snoozin', etc., it still is a time to reflect on what we can be thankful for. And given the concerns of this column - aging issues - there are a lot of things to be thankful for.

Thanks to families: Family members across the country provide care and assistance with little or no recognition - and no desire for it. Countless sons and daughters, siblings, parents and other relatives diligently care for ailing family simply because:

1. The need is there, and;

2. They want to help.

Sometimes the thanks is verbal. Sometimes the thanks is seeing folks taken care of. And for you who receive no thanks - THANK YOU! Thank you for your willingness to see a need and put your time and energy to that need. Thank you for being a part of the whole caregiving field.

Thanks to all you who are providing care as paid caregivers. You could be working in other fields, or simply doing other things. Yet you've chosen to be in the "helping" service area - in spite of irregular schedules, less than maximum pay and emotional ups and downs. Some may say "Well, that's their job." To those we say "There are lots of jobs and a lot of products folks could be involved with. These folks decided to work at supporting and assisting people." And so, thanks!

In the same vein, thank you to all the professional workers involved in the area of social services. You also could be doing other things, but somewhere along the line you decided that "people" were more important than "product," and had a desire to help. And you continue to help in spite of guidelines, revenue and ever-shifting processes.

And another thank you to the folks in the community who are receiving services. You are in the midst of problems, but continue to strive for independence no matter how limited it may be. Thank you for the example. Thank you for cooperating with the myriad of workers, services and paper-paper-paper. Your part is critical in making things work as smoothly as possible.

And to end this brief column, a special thank-you to communities. You folks - all of us who make up our respective communities - are involved. Whether you volunteer, work professionally or simply express concerns, all are acts of caring. All are acts of community.

Thank you!

Senior Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 642-3634/888-571-6558

Raymond: 942-2177/888-571-6557

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