• In the past month New York City divided in half: those directly affected by Hurricane Sandy and those who were not.

    For all of us, the storm challenged us to rethink our ideas of home, community, and independence.

    That’s especially true for older adults affected by the storm. Some lost homes filled with a lifetime of sentimental possessions. Others were displaced from new homes they’d created in continuing care and retirement facilities.

    Judith Graham wrote in the New York Time’s New Old Age blog about the emotional aftermath of disasters for Seniors, concluding that ‘the best remedy…is the human touch.’

    Around the city, communities and individuals have mobilized to serve displaced older adults and families. Congregations rally to prepare meals and organize donations. A GoFundMe campaign offered customized lullabies, handknit scarves and good old fashioned hugs from Seniors displaced from the Rockaways temporarily sheltered at Park Slope’s Armory.

    New communities have evolved from the relief effort – notably Occupy Sandy, a grassroots initiative rivaling the scale of some of the most established relief agencies. Aging 2.0, a relatively new business network dedicated to innovation in relation to aging, helped mobilize the aging services community, creating a platform for compiling resources and services available to Seniors affected by Sandy, as well as volunteer and donation needs.

    Jane Gross, the New Old Age’s Boomer founder, wrote honestly about acknowledging her age and embracing her Suburban community in the aftermath of the storm. It’s that kind of honesty and vulnerability that binds individuals to community.

    How has your idea of community changed since the storm?

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    This entry was posted on Sunday, November 25th, 2012 at 7:47 pm and is filed under Stories & Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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