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SeniorBridge: Compassion and commitment during Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast last month, shattering homes, communities and lives. Area residents quickly began to pick up the pieces and rebuild, but recovery from the devastating superstorm will take time and continuing support from all of us.

In the aftermath of the storm, there have been heartbreaking stories of unimaginable grief and hardship. There also have been stories of courage, compassion and generosity as emergency workers, families, friends, neighbors and others pulled together to save lives and preserve hope. Among those going the extra mile are caregivers and other staff members of New York-based SeniorBridge. Even though some of them also lost property, power and transportation, their dedication and commitment to the seniors they serve never wavered.

“It is in these times of crisis that our true colors show,” said Eric C. Rackow, MD, who leads the combined SeniorBridge/Humana Cares organization.

Some examples of dedication exhibited by SeniorBridge staff:

  • When a 64-year-old wheelchair-bound, insulin-dependent woman living with diabetes and a wound requiring daily dressing changes, insisted on staying in her beach-side apartment in a mandatory evacuation zone despite pleas to leave, her SeniorBridge caregiver negotiated many hurdles to deliver needed supplies and then stayed by her side for four days without power or heat.
  • A 97-year-old New York woman with advanced dementia and very limited mobility lost power and water in the 24th-floor apartment where she lived alone. Despite transportation issues of their own, two SeniorBridge caregivers made their way to the apartment, walked up the 24 flights with only a flashlight to guide them to deliver water and food and remained in the home for 48 hours to ensure her safety.

“I’m exhausted and mentally drained … but I feel fortunate being able to see how my work helps people,” said Tatiana Pagan, a SeniorBridge scheduling coordinator in New York said a few days after the storm.

To read more stories from SeniorBridge associates, click here.

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