Letters to the editor

Missing dog ‘part of the family’

To all who picked up our sweet Pomeranian and didn’t bring her back home.

Roxy has been missing since Sept. 17 from our neighborhood on North First Street. I gave her info to the Council Bluffs Police Department, maybe they can find her. We moved from Sheldon due to my husband’s health.

A lost animal is just like a child out for a walk. Not a day goes by we ask who picked Roxy up and put her collar in our mail box. I have her picture on missing pets for Council Bluffs Facebook page. She is tan with white and tan on her face.

Mary Bartles

Council Bluffs

Iowa caregivers provide life-changing support

November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to celebrate the Iowans who are providing compassionate support to a loved one with significant health needs.

About 15% of U.S. adults are in a caregiving role for another adult. At Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI), I see the life-changing difference these caregivers make for the individuals they support.

One of LSI’s programs, Host Homes, offers one-on-one support for Iowans with disabilities. The caregivers in this program — or “mentors” — open their hearts and homes to an adult with a disability and provide 24-hour, personalized care.

They get groceries together, watch movies, manage finances and chores, and work on any goals the individual wants to achieve. Since the program launched in 2017, we have seen tangible examples of the ways these mentors make an impact in the lives of the people they serve.

Before Host Homes, one individual experienced severe mental health episodes and was in and out of hospitalized psychiatric care several times each year. But after moving in with her mentor and receiving the individualized care she needed, she has experienced great improvements in her health and been able to go more than a year without any hospitalization.

LSI also supports caregivers through statewide respite care, an opportunity for caregivers to take a much-needed break from caring for their loved one. In order for them to provide the best support for their loved ones, they must also have time to take care of themselves. Our First Circle Friends program in Des Moines and Clinton also provides respite care specifically designed for individuals experiencing memory loss and is staffed by specially trained volunteers.

Caregiving is no easy task, and it can come with long, difficult days. This month, please join me in lifting up and thanking the Iowans in our community who are dedicating their lives to provide compassionate support for those who need it.

Cody Lewton

LSI’s Services for People with Disabilities

Des Moines

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