WELL-BEING CHECKS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR SENIORS HEALTH.
It was a cold January day when 67-year-old Jackie Reynolds gathered about 60 tenants from two senior buildings. She called a meeting after one of the residents in her Evergreen Tower building died. A foul smell alerted neighbors to the death. Reynolds organized a team of tenants who were willing to conduct wellness checks on one another. Soon after, while doing her own checks, Reynolds noticed a neighbor wouldn’t answer the door. A custodian entered the unit and found the woman dead. This was reprinted for the Chicago Tribune in an article by Sydney Czyzon on July 22, 2020. Sadly nothing has changed in George Collins Apartments and the most reliable way to find dead bodies still exists despite the Senior Safety Ordinance passed in July. There will be nothing done for seniors if it is going to cost Senior Building Owners or Managers, especially HUD 202 mortgage holders. Unless Seniors call and write their Aldermen, Congressional Representatives, and Senators nothing is going to be done and smell will be the best methodology of knowing when a senior in distress.
Seniors Need Help Navigating Everyday Life During A Pandemic
We continue to extend our arms out for anybody who can assist us with this problem of trying to avoid getting this dreadful COVID-19 and stay alive and well-being checks are just as an important component to have. Many of us are without outside resources like homemakers that would normally see us at least 3 times a week and are trained to report any changes in our behavior or demeanor. For those that are semi-illiterate, have conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or other physical handicaps have to choose between our health or having someone come into our precious space to cook and clean who may be infected. So many like myself make the sacrifice to try and get by as best as we can. You attempt to navigate tasks around the house you are not entirely capable of doing without someone to help. As a result of my having to cook, clean, and shop I have developed a back and hip problem for being on my feet and bending over. Now I need rehabilitation to walk straight without bending over. Well-being checks are no joke for Seniors because daily they are unable to navigate the difficulties of everyday life without someone to help with a plethora of tasks, some of which tend to frighten Seniors and that’s when someone trained in these matters can make them feel safe again. This is basic stuff during this time of COVID-19 and especially during this flu season. Lives will be saved if this ordinance is followed and enforced.
CHICAGO MUST ENFORCE IT’S OWN RULES ON WELL-BEING CHECKS
The city ordinance is effective only during pandemics and COVID-19. What happens, after the virus is gone, does that mean Seniors will all of a sudden stop needing someone to check up on them? This is why HUD must make Senior Well-Being Checks mandatory, even for buildings with the notorious HUD #202 mortgages that require a mortgage holder to do the bare minimum to operate a HUD property. Other HUD mortgages require Senior well-being checks as a basic right for Seniors in their properties. HUD’s #202 mortgages go mostly to slumlords who need these properties for tax purposes or nefarious reasons. Why else would you get a #202 mortgages when so many more are available. I understand how some HUD properties are more appealing than others and it’s difficult to find good mortgage holders willing to assume management in some properties because of location. The building I live in is located in Uof I campus district. This location is central to Downtown Chicago. So it’s not about the neighborhood it’s about Building Managers not want to operate on the cheap with a vulnerable population that nobody listens to.