Archive for July, 2010

We dont treat ’em right here!

July 5, 2010

You know events that have happened within the past hour or two have lead me to speak out for the elderly.

There is this old man that lives in our building. Jewish American guy, really talks a lot and loud but he’s a sweet man who has recently had trouble staying upright. I’ve seen the guy fall like 3 times and nothing would trigger it. It happens sometimes. Anyways, he was a good guy, you can tell he was one of those 40 year old hippies in the 60s he would talk about doing sit ins and protests with his son against the Vietnam War. His son passed away from something I cant recall before I was even born. I think 1973 or something. Anyways he’s always been alone. His only real friend was the security guard downstairs. The security guard liked him because, well, if anyone has been in my building the security guard really isnt a security guard. Its just a dude that sits in the lobby and …. thats it so the old man would keep him company. They were friends.

Well, mom said hi to the security guard about 3 days ago and the security guard asked if she had seen him. He hadnt seen him for 3 days. Its not like him he was worried. Mom recommended to him to go up and check. He’s not allowed. She recommended calling the cops. He can’t do that either. I knew that. Its happened before. Security called the cops when a woman wasnt answering her door and he got fired because hes supposed to go through the main office first and THEY are supposed to call the police. So I recommended he do that, so he and mom went to the office. The guy in the office said that he cant break in but he would call.

Well nothing ever happened however living on the 9th floor, I started smelling this faint smell. I thought it was the garbage room so I dismissed it. I got home last night and by the time the elevator was hitting the 7th floor I smelled it again. When I got off on my floor, it smelled HORRIBLE. I checked the garbage room, it was clean. I got into my apartment, thankfully it didnt smell in there. Mom opened the door this morning and it smelled really bad. Mom went downstairs and told the security guard and he got nervous. He came up to our floor, and smelled it. He said Oh my God what is that. We have to go up to the 14th floor. Mom and him went up to the 14th floor, a few minutes later, mom came down and threw up. She said it smelled 10x times worse and coudlnt stay up there. Mom said he was calling the cops. I told her she needed to go back up cuz I knew they were gonna ask questions, instead she went to the lobby to wait for them. The cops broke down the door and there he was on the floor, between his bed and the window. He was dead for days.

Here’s what I don’t get. He is NOT the only person who lives on the 14th Floor. If we smelled a faint nasty smell on the 9TH floor DAYS ago. How the hell did NO ONE on the 14th Floor say anything? Mom said she told the lady at the lotto place she frequents about what happened and she said she saw him on Wednesday. He went there, played the lotto, bought a cup of coffee and that was it. So since Wednesday he was lying on the floor in his bedroom. The cops yelled at the security guard for not saying anything but mom said she defended him and told the cops that they BOTH told the office manager about it as he was told to do and they did nothing. So the cops are now there with him, trying to find family.

You know, in many countries, when a family member gets old you take care of them. There is a sense of respect and hommage paid. Like a thank you for your contribution to this world the least we can do is see if you are ok. For some reason this country really doesnt do that. I hate that my great grandpa is by himself in Puerto Rico but I am blessed to know that people check on him every day and if something goes wrong we get a phone call. Thats the LEAST that should be done.

Look I know the elderly can be mean spirited at times, and just annoying. It doesn’t mean that they should be neglected. There are tons of agencies and stuff but it has to come out of their social security and what not and after all their years on this earth people should just make the effort to see how they are once a day just out the goodness of their heart. In many countries, this would be an utter outrage. I get it that he had no family. I get it. It happens. However in certain places, when there is an elderly person in a small town, the town itself will have people go and see how they are, bring them food, check to see if they are ok, etc. It just seems like it doesnt happen here unless there is money involved. Everyone in the building knew him, a lot of people thought he was annoying. I know for a fact that the security guard didnt just ask US about him, because he knows the other people who live on the 14th floor. Yet no one checked. At least mom and I tried to get the office to do something and they didnt lift a fucking finger! That HAS to be wrong.

People, respect your elders. Sure there are some that you would rather stay clear from but just think of it as your good deed for the day. Many are worthy of more than just a hello. I know one of my biggest fears is dying without anyone around. It breaks my heart to know that there was a chance that he would have been alive if someone went to help him. The cop said it could have just been a heart attack or something and could have been saved if someone checked on him. Of course he doesn’t know exactly what happened but still it is a possibility and that breaks my heart.