A big concern for the children of elderly parents is the wellbeing of the person when living alone. This concern is what drives many people to move elderly parents into assisted living communities where there is always someone around if something goes wrong. Other families decide to use in home care services to check on loved ones during the day. It can be difficult finding a balance between allowing an elderly parent to remain independent and providing the care needed to prevent an emergency. A large number of elderly people do have accidents when alone in the home. This can result in broken bones or worse in some situations.
An incident occurred recently in Vacaville, California. A postal worker named Corey Shaw was going about his normal route one day. His route is different from most. He does not usually deliver to individual mailboxes attached to homes. He normally just pulls up in his postal vehicle in front of community mailboxes. The boxes are large metal rectangles on the sidewalks that contain a dozen or more individually locked compartments for mail. He fills them up and then the residents come out to retrieve the mail from the box later with a key. Not all residents in the area are able to make it out to the communal boxes.
Shaw does make some exceptions for the people living in Vacaville. He is especially sensitive to the needs of the elderly. He has two elderly people on his route that he sees regularly. Those people are unable to come out of the home and reach the community mailbox comfortably. Shaw actually walks to those individual homes and delivers the mail personally by hand. This has become a normal routine for him. Something was different one day in February when he was delivering the mail.
He went up to the home of an elderly woman. He had to deliver a stack of coupon books to her. Shaw rang the doorbell and waited patiently for her to answer. She did not open the door. He immediately knew something was wrong. Shaw had been delivering mail to her door for over 12 years by this point and knew the routine. He paused and listened for a moment. He could hear a very soft voice coming from just behind the door. He could not make out everything that was being said. He did manage understand the woman was saying she had fallen and had been trapped on the ground for some time.
Shaw tried to burst through the door without success. He began calling out for help. The child of a neighbor heard the screams. The girl immediately got her dad to come out. It turns out her father was a retired firefighter. They called 911 and went over to help Shaw. An ambulance arrived on the scene. Everyone worked together to break through the door and recover the woman inside. She was laying on the floor but did not seem to be in too bad of a condition. This is fortunate since it turns out she had been on the ground for two full days waiting for help.
The elderly woman appeared to be in a fine mood during the rescue. The first responders on the scene said she was joking with them about wanting to get back home before Super Bowl Sunday. The woman was taken to a local hospital where she is being treated for injuries related to the fall. Shaw and the neighbors made headlines in Vacaville for taking the time to help a neighbor in need. The woman is expected to make a full recovery.