Love Thy Neighbor Blog #2
In my intro post to Love Thy Neighbor, I shared that I was a husband. For this post, my wife, Ruth wanted to join me. Ruth is a wonderful woman that I’m blessed to be married to. She’s a fantastic wife and mother, highly civic-minded, and passionate about seniors. She’s the CEO of a caregiving business that primarily provides home care to seniors. Its funny… like most seniors, she refers to her clients as “her seniors”, but I don’t think that she sees herself as a senior yet.
We’ve been thinking a lot about all of the recent disasters and how as a society we need to be more prepared, more ready to assist and provide aid for the most frail and vulnerable amongst us. Even in Florida, that by most accounts, is one of the most prepared states for a disaster like they experienced with Hurricane Irma, informed its residents that only seniors with caregivers could come to the shelters. How could that be? What were the seniors that didn’t have caregivers supposed to do? Those seniors, the ones without the caregivers, we would think were at least as likely if not more likely to be in need.
There was an image that was one of those that became to define Hurricane Harvey. We were haunted by this image. It was the picture of stranded seniors, many suffering from dementia, in a nursing home type facility. The floodwaters were up to their waists. Fortunately as the owners of the home went to Twitter, their call for a lifeline was answered. The tweet went viral and shortly thereafter the residents were rescued.
It’s no surprise that the most vulnerable during Irma and Harvey were the elderly. When we are developing plans, have we had in the forefront how we would get seniors mobilized and that they would be first in terms of our evacuation plans and not an afterthought? Or that all seniors, with or without caregivers, that have a need, will be served?
While the rescue of the seniors in the nursing home outside Houston was an incredible story about the amazing positive things that can come out of social media, it also really highlighted that as we think about our neighbors, it needs to be all of our neighbors, and Ruth and I would argue, it especially needs to be those with the most need and most frail amongst us.
Unfortunately, as we close this post, we have to mention the horrific Las Vegas massacre, which is another terrible disaster. However, this one is the result of one human causing the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, with 58 people losing their lives and 489 injured. These tragedies can’t continue; we must start loving our neighbor as they self.
Barry and Ruth
I welcome anyone reading this blog, to share and help plant the seeds of the spirit, essence and intent of Love Thy Neighbor. I will periodically share some thoughts and things that inspire me with the hopes of keeping the conversation going. Also, after hearing of so many heroes and individuals that came to help those in need in Vegas, that I have decided to begin a list of heroes and others that truly believe in and show real signs of “Love Thy Neighbor”. Send me their name, city and what they did. Until next time.