Ray S. Topasna, the executive director of the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority is doing his job.
He’s looking out for his tenants and voicing an opinion which makes sense.
With a waiting list of thousands, Topasna can only accommodate 49 manåmko’ or senior citizens at Guma Trankilidat in Tumon.
Sen. Amanda L. Shelton had a full house of experts for the inaugural meeting of the Senior Housing Task Force on Oct. 21.
“Housing” may be something of a misnomer, as the task force will inevitably have to consider the ailments of an aging population in Guam. Several of the eight members of the task force are well versed in the needs of manåmko’, many of whom will have to balance their needs to “age in place,” or assisted living, with the economics of support to do so.
The Journal would like to thank its source for the story, who shared not only concern for a family member, but some of the issues — both practical and emotional — that confront any busy family who have a loved aging family member among them, the cost of supplementary care being front and center.
But back to Topasna. Once again, he raised at the task force meeting the possibility of using its current prime property to leverage a better location for Guma Trankilidat.
The last time Topasna raised the possibility it did not go well, with resident’s fearing eviction.
However, a purpose-built location for elderly residents would be a welcome addition to GHURA’s inventory and could serve a wider aging population as well. Any transition would of course need to be sensitively managed.
Topasna’s vision is for a property with suitable amenities, potentially for resident retirees of different incomes, and should offer more than Guma Trankilidat’s aging property.
The idea is not so far-fetched as it may seem, as St. Dominic’s Senior Care Home has a similar model.
The attractions could outweigh any apprehension about moving.
The task force seems willing to consider all options as it begins its work. We wish them well and urge them to explore all solutions for the greater good. mbj