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LTCI Watch: Community service

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Italian authorities have come up with an interesting way to try to change the ways of Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s former prime minister: It’s sentenced him to working at least four hours per week at a center for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The authorities say they are punishing Berlusconi for tax fraud. Berlusconi has denied the charges.

Bloomberg reporters have quoted Berlusconi as saying that he believes his legal troubles amount to political persecution, but that he finds working with people with Alzheimer’s “absolutely pleasant.”

This gave me an idea: Why not sentence all members of Congress — maybe all members of Congress, and their aides — to working with people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia?

Or, maybe just apply that sentence to members who spout off more than one canned party talking point per conversation.

The policymakers who received the sentence could greatly expand the supplemental long-term care (LTC) workforce and help facilities and home care agencies off paid caregivers breaks at no additional cost.

The policymaker caregivers would learn more about what paid and unpaid caregivers face day in and day out.

And maybe more partisan policymaker caregivers would gain a little bipartisan humility through caregiving.

Whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, or Greens, Socialists, Libertarians or Tea Party members, we’re all going to be old someday. The paths of partisanship (and, to be fair, bipartisanship) lead but to the grave.

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