Today’s message is dedicated to older people.
I call them “older people” because “senior citizens” is boring and “old” is wise and awesome!
Older people are all around us…at family functions, living next store, having coffee one table over, at the retirement home down the street.
How you treat them says much about how you will be treated later in life.
But beyond the matter of respect, I have a deep fascination with older people.
Here are a few facts to explain why:
—There’s only one person alive on the whole planet who was born in the 1800’s.
Her name is Emma Morano.
She is almost 117 years old and drinks homemade brandy every single day.
As it goes with so many of the very, very old, their approach to life is a reminder to enjoy the journey…every single day.
Emma is now famous, and often visited by neighbors, friends, and dignitaries.
But so many older people are very lonely.
—There are 500,000 holocaust survivors around the world who are living in abject poverty.
Their childhood was robbed by the Nazis, and they are spending their final years (many in New York City, Israel, and the former Soviet countries) struggling with hunger, cold, and homelessness.
For instance, Melinda Herschkowitz, 82, says she starved in a ghetto before narrowly escaping, erbeing transported to Auschwitz where she lost 14 members of her family.
And today, she is still battling hunger, because she struggles to afford food.
Melinda lives in a dilapidated block of flats on the outskirts of a small town near Tel Aviv.
“It’s impossible to make ends meet,” she adds. “Of course more money would help. But who is thinking about us?”
Imagine the lessons these holocaust survivors like Melinda must have about resilience, the preciousness of life, and the ever-relevant reminder of evil forces allowed to run rampant.
Older people have powerful wisdom, but often lack the platform and audience with whom to share it.
In the United States, 43% of older people report feeling lonely on a regular basis.
And people 60-years-old and older who reported feeling lonely saw a 45% increase in their risk for death.
Obviously, we can do more. We have to do much more. Who better to learn from… than the older people living among us?
Let’s HELP them get some much needed love and affection so they can enjoy (instead of endure) their final years.
There is a non-profit, Search and Care, which provides fee-free, compassionate, comprehensive care to isolated and homebound older people–helping them age safely at home.
Right now, Search and Care is drawing attention to a very simple and very special way to help.
Many old people have dogs and cats and birds to keep them company…often their only source of affection and love…but declining health and limited finances make it harder to feed and groom them, or get the to a vet.
Any dog-lover knows, even in the worst of times, a dog provides the best kind of love!
Please visit here to watch Ms R talk about Heaven and Holly…loving volunteer pit bulls who visit her weekly…
…and how you can make a real difference by ensuring an older person can care for their beloved pets…truly, their family.