Seven years ago, the CMC received a request for assistance from the owner of a local nursing home. The owner explained that he was in the process of selling the nursing home, and he was very concerned about “Harold”, an extremely ill and isolated Jewish resident. Seeing that Harold had been abandoned by his family and did not have any friends, the owner had always made sure to take a very personal interest in his care. Now however, the nursing home was changing hands; consequently, the owner asked the CMC to step in and effectively fill the role of Harold’s family.
It was a big request, but whenever the opportunity arises to make a real difference in the lives of the elderly and infirm, the CMC always does everything possible to go the extra mile.
For the last seven years, the CMC visited Harold on a pro-bono basis, making every effort to uplift his spirits and rekindle his interest in life. Throughout scores of hospital admissions and whenever a medical decision needed to be made, the CMC always acted as Harold’s family, visiting him, advocating for him, and taking the responsibility of being his power-of-attorney for health care.
About a year ago, Harold’s health took an even further significant turn for the worse, to the extent that his doctor almost decided to transfer him to hospice care. Over the last year of Harold’s life, the CMC intensified their engagement and efforts on his behalf, including dozens of hospital visits, and countless meetings and phone calls with doctors and nurses. As Harold’s POA, the CMC left no stone un-turned in seeking the best possible outcome for him.
Sadly, Harold passed away this week. Although the legal responsibility as POA terminated with his passing, nevertheless, the CMC continued to care for Harold as family. In view of Harold’s complete lack of financial resources, the CMC organized and paid for all the necessary arrangements (special thanks also to Chicago Jewish Funerals for their professionalism and assistance in providing special considerations for indigent burials) for Harold to receive a dignified traditional Jewish burial. The only attendees at the funeral were the individuals whom the CMC arranged and transported in order to make a minyan so that kaddish could be recited for Harold at the graveside.
Who can measure the impact of befriending a lonely and infirm individual? Thanks to the CMC’s visits and caring engagement, Harold was not left alone during his final years, but felt valued and cared for. May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.