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Delegation needs to act responsibly regarding nursing home care

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to the Belknap County Delegation:

Budget cuts will cost the Belknap County Nursing Home (BCNH) the service and care that residents deserve. Three areas of proposed cuts are to the activity aides, dietary aides and LNAs.

Activity aides area a necessary component of the resident's physical and mental health. By providing activities and entertainment, the aides help to keep residents from depression and further debilitating their already fragile health.

The dietary aids see to the resident's nutritional health. They provide special dietary needs for residents who need it and LNAs feed those who are unable to feed themselves. The dietary aids also provide a level of comfort in the dining area for loved ones to be able to join their families in a restaurant-style setting.

The LNAs make the nursing home run. Having been a LNA employee for nearly 10 years at the BCNH and having worked through four administrations, I know the LNAs are heavily taxed in their duties and responsibilities. Many times there are only six LNAs on a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift, with each LNA having to care for 14 to 18 residents. We have to wash, dress, comb hair and shave residents. We feed them breakfast and lunch. Many cannot get out of bed alone and need our help to go to the bathroom.

All the LNAs work very hard to take the best care possible of the residents. To cut back staffing would be taking away the care the residents have now.

In the long run, not having the proper care for the residents because of budget cuts will cost the county more money, due to fall and that lawsuits that will follow. I ask you, the county delegation, to act responsibly and help assure the residents of the BCNH get the care and attention they need and deserve.

Gillian Halligan

Laconia

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