Editor:


My brother is a resident of Andover Subacute II. I live far away, cannot talk to him, but am in touch via his social worker.


The negative press reports of the situation there are not representative of what our experience has been.


I have visited Andover several times. At my first visit I was startled by the level of movement, voices and activity out in the halls – but I was also surprised by how alive it felt. My brother was living in an environment of energy. He doesn’t participate in that much, but at least he is not alone. He is cared for by people who have no other connection to him than that they work there…yet somehow they care. This is an extremely difficult environment in which to work. The professional staff must work within the administrative restraints of that system. The non-professional staff are out on the floor, dealing minute to minute with people who live in a world, at least in their heads, quite different than most of us do.


I have no doubt that everyone who works there is suffering. I have nothing but admiration for those who continue to come in every day. They are being paid a pittance for what they are expected to do. Perhaps not everyone’s heart is in it, and perhaps it’s a job that they can’t afford to lose - but I have seen only heart, caring, humor AND acceptance. Anyone who has lived with a “special needs” person knows that acceptance is a rare commodity for such persons.


A special note - his social worker and medical support team continue to be in contact with us. We have only gratitude to express for their efforts.


While something positive may come out of the scrutiny at Andover, I suspect that unless those who make the “big” decisions are affected personally by a situation like this, nothing will change.


Cecile Greider, Belfast, Maine