By Brian Hahn
I’m writing on behalf of the Magas Patriot Group, a Guam-based company that is advocating for the development of world-class assisted living facilities for Guam.
Our island is in the process of choosing new leaders. The winners of the Primary Election can use the momentum of their electoral victory by championing a noble and just cause by taking Guam to the next level in the senior continuum of care for our island’s aging populace.
Guam needs leaders with tremendous vision who are not too afraid to embrace the necessary change. Leaders who can make selfless and courageous decisions to benefit all of our island’s young and old.
Leaders who are not complacent and are not afraid to embrace change by going against the grain and accepted norm, and bringing an innovative state of the art quality of senior care to our island.
So too, the winter of our lives as voters gives us the opportunity to grow in courage in taking a step forward, by engaging in the much needed issue of elderly care and supporting those candidates in this winter’s General Election who have pledged to undertake this most urgent and very relevant issue.
Guam, like the rest of the nation, is aging. In 2015, there were approximately 21,301 seniors who are age 60 and older, according to the Guam Four Year State Plan on Aging (FY 2016-2019). Hopefully, all of them are voting for change in this current election.
As a member of Guam’s Assisted Living Coalition, I have been working with baby boomers seeking assistance to meet their long-term care needs. Many of them are caring for their own aged parents, bringing forth the realization that sending loved ones off island (away from home) to institutional care is not the preferred mechanism for caring for their aged parents.
Addressing long-term care issues by providing assisted living facilities here on island promotes independent living, which strengthens family support so that older persons can continue living in a home-like setting in their communities, even in the event of declining mental and physical abilities.
The winter of our lives takes patience, self-sacrifice, self-discipline and faithful love. Courage helps us to accept what cannot be changed and to struggle through what needs to be changed. Courage helps us to gently say what we believe, to hold on to what we know is of value despite the risk of rejection, doubt or failure.
Let us all hope and place our trust and faith in that our future island leaders will have the courage and patience to establish assisted living care facilities for all of Guam’s manamko’ who have sacrificed much in making our proud island into what it is today.
Brian Hahn is a resident of Tamuning and a member of the Magas Patriot Group.
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