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Planning ahead to protect our most vulnerable

By in Press Enterprise on October 7, 2017

By Cheryl Brown

Lately it seems almost everyone is immersed in tragedy — both natural and man-made — and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

The recent massacre in Las Vegas re-opened wounds here in San Bernardino. We once again find ourselves embracing local families who lost loved ones in an inexplicable tragedy. Not only did the magnitude of the event impact lives here, but across the nation and around the world.

As we hold these families in prayer, it is also critically important we maintain focus on the plight of recent hurricane victims. I am reminded that elderly people, who under normal circumstances are already among the nation’s most vulnerable, are even more vulnerable when disaster strikes. The events of recent weeks waved a red flag before the eyes of America and reminded all of us how we must prepare, in order to assure the safety and care of our elders is not left to chance in the event of a local disaster.

During the unrelenting storms that recently battered the nation, we watched as seniors were all but abandoned in a convalescent home and saw a mayor brought to tears as she cried out for help on behalf of the American territory of Puerto Rico. And then, there was the rampage in Las Vegas, Nevada that resulted in the violent murder of 59 fellow Americans, left 527 people physically injured and thousands of others whose lives will never be the same.

To see in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, seniors in Houston, Texas, many of whom suffer from dementia, stranded in a nursing home with flood water up to their knees; to hear in the wake of Hurricane Irma, of 12 seniors who died in a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida because they were left to wither in debilitating heat without air conditioning; […]    

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