Our 91 year old neighbor, Betty, was taken to a local hospital by my friend/neighbor who lives across the street from her. Betty had medical symptoms that needed attention for a few nights in the hospital, but she is now back home.
Many of us nearby are very familiar with Betty who energetically walks her dog, Teddy, through the hilly streets of our very rural neighborhood outside of Seattle. This neighbor does not have the best hearing so oftentimes, when having a street side conversation with her, everyone can hear of which we speak several houses away.
However, that’s not important. What is important is that all of us younger neighbors – I’m a mere 69 yo – leaped into action to make sure she was getting the attention she needed at the hospital. Betty has no living family – one of the hazards of living a long life, I guess. She lives in a mother-in-law suite in a house owned by a lovely couple. They were on point with Betty at the hospital and my friend/neighbor who lives across the street from Betty talked to her by phone daily – passing along greetings from people such as myself, as well as from those who are emotionally connected with her.
During one such call, my neighbor told her that I and other neighbors had asked about her. Did that make Betty’s day? You bet it did. Just knowing people care does a body good. No one wants to be or feel invisible, and sometimes the elderly do fall into that unfortunate category. Betty is not invisible, she has actively engaged with her neighbors for many years, but there are those of a certain age and in other populations who do fall between the cracks. We did not let our elderly neighbor fade into invisibleness.
One thing that never changes. People. And how people love to connect with other people. We are built for community. The only way to tackle momentous challenges is together. From the novel LET IT SNOW, by Beth Moran
Good news abounds in Harrison, Arkansas, and a 5th grader is the one who set this story in motion.
Ruby Kate Chitsey spends lots of time in nursing homes because her mother is a nurse practitioner and Ruby Kate loves to join her mother while she’s at work. Ruby noticed something at nursing homes that wasn’t getting the attention she felt it deserved. Wait until you read this brief story about how this young girl took charge of making life in nursing homes better for those who live within.