Monday, February 18, 2008

News From My Hood

I live in a fairly well-balanced neighborhood - both culturally and age-wise. I have two elderly neighbors, one is in her late seventies (J) and the other is 95 (N). I'm pissed off on behalf of the 95 year old today.

She's the sweetest grandmotherly type you'll ever meet. She's witty and totally hilarious. But she has macular degeneration, and quite honestly needs some serious home care to help her with her house. In short, I would poke out both of my eyes before I'd let my mother live the way she does.

Today she fell - again. This is the fourth time in the last year that I know of. There are probably more instances than that, but she doesn't speak up when things happen. So her neighbor on the other side of her house (K) went to check on her since she hadn't seen any activity over there. When K knocked on the door, she heard the woman call for help. K ran to my house looking for a phone and we called the paramedics and got the house key from J (I was damn near ready to break through the large plate-glass window, but since N was speaking knew we had some time to work with).

When we got inside, N was laid out on the floor looking totally awful, no color in her face. Apparently, she'd ended up on the floor SATURDAY (but couldn't remember how she got there). What the FUCK? While we waited on the paramedics, I made several attempts to reach her granddaughter, but to no avail at either of her numbers. The granddaughter and I have had several of these conversations in the past, and I wasn't looking forward to having this one.

The paramedics came and checked N over, gave her fluids, and did what they could. But N refused to go to the hospital. Her grandson finally showed up and is now sitting with her.

Here's what bothers me kids. I get that N is an independent woman and really just wants to be on her own. But, seriously kids, believe me when I tell you that most of you and I would fight hell or high water to get her some home care, or at the very least, a Life Alert. If K hadn't been curious, N would have died. No joke.

My whole thing is this: how do I tell her family they need to do something? Or can I even say that? They are good people. Maybe they just don't really realize how things are? Really? Is that possible?

Do I say anything? What do I say?

K and I are going to start a rotation checking on N every day, and that's about all we can do. It just makes my ass twitch...


Anonymous said...

I would tell her family what you just told us. Explain the gravity of her recent fall and strongly suggest that home care or even life alert need to happen. Stand up for this poor woman. The worst that happens is the family disagrees with you and doesn't like you. If they're that selfish it doesn't matter what they think. Are there any programs that a social worker/county employee/etc could help you find if the family doesn't do anything? Good luck! If only all grandparents had neighbors like you.

Saly said...

It's horrible that her family isn't checking on her. I can't eblieve they'd be so selfish. Good for you for taking it on when it clearly is not your job.

Also, I tagged you for a meme. No pressure though

Tessie said...

This is so sad. Especially since I can see my own mom, who lives alone and will be HELL to put in any kind of group care, acting this way. I worry about something happening to her, and she's only in her 50s.

I hope they AT LEAST get the life alert or something similar. They are inexpensive these days and at least you would feel better.

Deena said...

I would think that if you addressed the situation from the context a mutual goal of making sure the grandmother is taken care of, the subject will go over okay. (maybe not great, but okay anyway.) It would be nice if there was a way to force their hand though.