How well do you know your next-door neighbor? Do you trust them enough to invite them to your home?
Allowing them to live with you is an option.
Chris Salvatore moved next door to Norma Cook, an 85-year-old woman, and Hermes, her cat, in 2013.
They didn’t generally greet each other, but once Salvator introduced himself, they became fast friends.
They became such good friends that Salvatore, a 31-year-old actor, asked Norma to move in when she was nearing the end of her life and required constant care.
Norma’s health began to decline rapidly when she turned 89. During a hospital stay, Salvatore realized that Cook would not be allowed to go home unless he had continued care. She was at a loss because she didn’t have any children or family nearby.
Salvatore set up an online GoFundMe campaign for Cook. Before the 31-year-old decided he needed to take extra action, he and his two best friends examined a few caretakers.
“The only other option was for her to go into a facility,” he told TODAY. “I couldn’t do that to someone who reminds me of my grandmother.”
He asked Cook to live at his place.
“I’m so glad I was able to give her the gift of spending her final days at home,” Salvatore said on GoFundMe. “I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through the end of your life in a hospital without your friends or pets.”
They turned out to be great housemates.
“We’re always watching the news,” Cook said. “We mostly talk while drinking Champagne and eating peanuts.”
Cook tragically died on February 15, 2017. Salvatore shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram, where he routinely blogged about the couple’s trips.
“She called me the grandson she never had,” Salvatore recalled of Cook.
Cook didn’t need Salvatore’s help in any way, but he couldn’t take the thought of her dying alone in a hospital.
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