Special section stories should have looked beyond central peninsula

Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003

I am writing this letter as an individual, however, presently I am president of Homer Senior Citizens Inc. My term expires May 15.

Your special section entitled "Transitions 2003 The Kenai Peninsula's Changing Economy," Feb. 27, 2003, was interesting and informative. I would like to refer to "Health Care" by Marcus Garner and "Changing Demographics" by Phil Hermanek. These articles probably were aimed toward hospital care and the central peninsula's senior centers.

Did you know that Homer offers a well-rounded health care program? The city is becoming a retirement center. There are seven assisted living facilities plus the South Peninsula Hospital as a heath agency and a long-term care agency (latter mentioned) to provide a continuum of care. In addition to Homer Senior Center's nutrition, recreation, activities, transportation and support services, Homer Senior Citizens Inc. also provides a 40-unit apartment complex called "Friendship Terrace Assisted Living." This complex was opened in May 1996. This unit plus the other small assisted living homes provide the steps needed after home health care and before long term care.

There are many senior citizen organizations across the peninsula. Anchor Point's senior center was built with state grant funds and lots of local fund-raising and volunteer labor. The same applies to Homer, Ninilchik, Seldovia, Cooper Landing, Seward, Nikiski, Seward and Sterling as well as the two centers in Kenai and Soldotna.

If the writers are going to mention the two facilities in the "twin cities," perhaps they also should recognize the other centers which are also trying hard to provide services with less and less funds. Perhaps before the next issue of this special feature, the writers might visit all the centers and health-care facilities. It would make some nice articles.

I lived for about 22 years in the Soldotna area and I know how easy it is to become central peninsula oriented. But there is a whole big world out there!

Frances Brymer, Anchor Point

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