What if?

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To the Editor:

When my sister and I moved here a decade ago, we were too young to think about the “what if’s.” That was a decade ago.

Now it occurs to me that “what if” we cannot handle the stairs to a downstairs washing machine or dryer? “What if,” even with a long-term-care insurance policy, we can not find anyone to help us with daily needs like medications or preparing meals?

“What if” we needed to downsize from our home in West Tisbury to housing that would be easier to manage — no garden, no steep stairways, and, most important, a lot less space.

“What if” the smart thing to do is sell our home and move into a more manageable apartment?

Two friends have already moved off-Island to senior apartment complexes. Yes, they wanted a community center where they could meet new neighbors, play a game of bridge or mahjong, have an afternoon cup of coffee. But, most important, they needed to be safe in a living unit that they could manage.

The options for seniors here on Martha’s Vineyard are limited in the extreme. Even if you qualify by income for a senior apartment managed by the Dukes County Housing Authority, there is a waiting list. The private developments of condos also have lengthy waiting lists.

Whether you have lived on Martha’s Vineyard for a few years or a lifetime, you deserve to be able to grow old here safely. We need to have senior living communities built on Martha’s Vineyard.

The two articles on town meeting warrants will make this happen. The two articles will create an Island-wide Housing Bank and the funding needed to encourage the developments that seniors deserve. This is why I am actively supporting the Housing Bank MV campaign, and urge you to vote “yes” at your town meeting.

Susan Silk
West Tisbury