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The Dark Side of Sod

A BLOG BY JULIE POPE

Do you live in a Twilight Zone?

October 31, 2018

Twilighter's are people who live in our communities that range from say, 80 yrs - 150 yrs of age. Today, a large number of Twilighter's still live independently in neighborhoods they have resided in most of their life. The challenge is that in our transient, fast paced world, many of us don't even know who our neighbors are. We are so focused on our own lives, we forget about checking on the safety and welfare of our elderly.

Meet John and Mary Stevens, they have lived in their home for 50 years and just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. By now, most of their friends have preceded them in death. They have lost both of their children. Mary's health has been failing the past 5 years and John is her caregiver. He is a devoted husband and come hell or high water he will fulfill the promise he made to his wife 60 years ago, "in sickness and in health...til death do us part." He would not dream of letting anyone else care for his wife. That was his job.

They used to attend a local church where they had been members for years, but due to Mary's declining health, they've stopped attending. Trips to the store are becoming more and more difficult all the time. The neighborhood has become transient, many of their neighbors homes have become rentals so they just keep to themselves. No one visits regularly, they feel abandoned. They definitely do not want to impose on anyone. John's health is now failing as well, he has forsaken his own health to care for his wife. Winter's coming, who will check on their welfare?

This is just one small example of what is happening in our culture today.  Not only do we deny our death, many look at senior citizen status much in the same way. Question is, what can we do to help our elders so that they do not get to the point of feeling total helplessness? And what about those that have lost a spouse and are all alone? Who checks on them? Finding one of our precious Twilighter's deceased in their home (only because someone noticed the mail piling up and detected a strange odor emitting from the residence did they call the police to conduct a welfare check), is too many and totally unacceptable. This happens all the time. We need to be better than this.

If you know someone who you feel may need assistance, please drop in periodically to see if they are OK.  We simply cannot not offer our help to those that may need it and not want to ask for it.  Be on the lookout for ANY suspicious activity or lack of activity around their home, if you are not comfortable getting involved, have your local police department check them out. Besides...with any luck, you'll be a Twilighter yourself someday, what would safety and security look like for you. Pay it forward.

Peace.