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Report: Alcohol abuse, basic needs challenge quality of life

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Marathon County must do a better job preventing alcohol abuse, meeting basic food and housing needs and stopping domestic and child abuse, according to the latest LIFE report released today.

The report, released every two years, examines the quality of life based on more than 70 indicators.

“These issues that rose to the top aren’t surprising,” said United Way of Marathon County executive director Joanne Kelly. “It does help us focus and realize that we can do something about the issues and make things better.”

In addition to alcohol abuse, basic needs and domestic abuse, the latest document identifies early childhood development and a healthy lifestyle as other calls to action.

The report does highlight some community strengths, like a sense of public safety, high immunization rates and a quality education.

One issue that bears watching, leaders say, surrounds the elderly, who represent a growing percentage of the population. Many seniors have little to no savings and health care costs will consume more than 10 percent of their household income. At issue for community leaders will be how to serve the needs of seniors with limited public and personal resources.

“It is up to each of us to see what our moral responsibility is to help make our community better,” Kelly said.

On the Web: http://unitedwaymc.org/lifereport.htm

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