Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that show isolation among the elderly has hit record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. More on this here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/loneliness-social-isolation-elderly-adults-b1977200.html
A pastor has shared a heartbreaking video showing what he found in the home of an elderly man in his community after the man had passed away.
Pastor Thomas William McCracken III, an adjunct professor at Virginia Western Community College, was asked by social services if he could serve as the executor to an elderly man's estate after the man passed away alone in his Salem, Virginia, house, with no family members or friends. He agreed to be the executor and went to the man's house to assess his belongings. When he arrived at the house, he was shocked by what he found.
"What I found inside, I was not prepared for," the pastor said in a video taken at the man's cabin.
McCracken was shocked by the man's living conditions, so he came back the next day with somebody else to film him walking through the cabin.
In the video, the pastor gives a tour of the small, cluttered home. He points out that the man was found dead in his bedroom two days after passing away.
Pastor McCracken says in the video that the man's living conditions highlight a serious problem in America, noting that the man's house was condemned following his death.
"I hope that it shakes you and wakes you as it has done me," he says.
The pastor encourages viewers to use the man's home as an example that shows why people must check in on their neighbors, particularly those who do not have any family or friends to support them.
As he walks through the house, the pastor points out that the bathroom is in the worst condition of all the rooms in the house. The bathroom has no ceiling and is filled with old, dirty laundry.
Viewers were heartbroken by the video and agreed with the pastor's call to check in on your neighbors.
"This is what's wrong in America, you have no neighbors anymore, nor do churches seek out people that have no one to help them. I lived in Alabama village in Prichard for 42 years, our church was not large, but we had a members that walked our neighborhood seeking people that needed help," one user commented on the Facebook page. "I have a friend that has a bad heart, is in her 70s has no money to fix her house. She has plumbing, roof problems, stove quit, needs floors, the church she belongs to was notified of her needs several months ago and as of today has not done one thing for her. She and her family put lots of money into the church when it was being built but now that she has nothing to give they won't do anything for her. Churches have become all about themselves as it shows in this video. I'm ashamed of how no one seems to care about others anymore. I help people when I can I'm not able to do a lot, but when I cook I take the elderly man next door food. We as a society have much to be ashamed of as we don't care for people anymore."
"How sad this story is.I can't imagine being all alone in the world without a friend or family," another reader commented. "We are so busy with our everyday lives that this probably happens more than we know."