A Chicago-area hair stylist has been credited with saving the life of an elderly client. ALC’s Chief Operating Officer Cinthia Nieves goes to Preferred Hair Salon in Schaumburg. This is the same salon for which 82-year old Joan has been a faithful customer for more than 20 years. Joan’s hairdresser Jose, knew that Joan lives alone. When she didn’t show up for her weekly appointment and didn’t call to cancel, he became a bit alarmed. After trying to call Joan’s home several times and being unable to reach her, he decided to check on her at her home. No one answered her door, and on noting that a couple of newspapers had piled up outside, he became more concerned. Jose decided to call the police in order to request a well-being check. When they arrived at her home, police found Joan lying on her floor. She had sustained a mild heart attack and series of strokes and had been unable to summon help.
A senseless tragedy was averted because a caring individual took the time to be alert to the unique needs and circumstances of an elderly neighbor, client or friend. The majority of seniors in the U.S. are wishing to age in their homes. Because of a number of factors including high quality home health services, adaptive devices, universal home design, and assistive technology, remaining in one’s home is possible, and even more importantly, safe. Much like the saying about it taking a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to care for its seniors.
Cinthia Nieves said, “Simply by being aware of individuals who may be somewhat isolated and perhaps frail, community members can help ensure the well-being of their neighbors. If you notice someone’s absence, poor health, confusion or uncharacteristic behavior, bring it to the attention of a family member or the authorities. You could save someone’s life just like Jose did.”