Elderly Neighbor

by Gene
(CA)

I've already done my parent care giving - I took care of my mother 12 years ago when she was terminally ill and on home hospice (her home).


Now I have an 89-year-old neighbor and when I got laid off six months ago I knew she would call me more than usual when she noticed I was home all day. She had her drivers license taken away 8 months ago, so now she calls on me to drive her to the doctor, take her to the store or pick up milk for her. She only calls me once every few weeks but I find I'm getting really resentful.

Her only son lives in the next state and wants her to move over there, but she doesn't want to leave her own home. She has plenty of money, but won't spend it. Maybe I'm resentful because I feel she's spoiled - always had someone (father, husband, friend) to do things for her and she won't become self-reliant by calling a cab, or repair person. I'm looking forward to the day her son puts her in assisted living.

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Schedule a neighborly date
by: Anonymous

Why not make a standing date with her once a month to take her on errands? She would have something to look forward to and you can tell her that's the limited time you have available.

I understand being unemployed you most likely feel everyone thinks you have lots of spare time. I'm in same situation and busier more than ever helping friends and my newly widowed 88 year old neighbor.

While it would help greatly to be compensated I think it's a humbling experience and makes me more empathetic to others.

Do I walk in my door and see my own home needing attention? Yes but I know my neighbors time is limited and I can clean my own place in a day or two.

So maybe one day someone will treat me as well. And you also.

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ELDERLY NEIGHBOR
by: Carnen

HI! I know that my sister's neighbor, is almost doing the same, as yours. I understand that, like the prior comment, we can "help" in some ways.

But, this lady should be informed, first by telling her that you would like to do more, but you have your "own" obligations, i.e., family, doctor's appointments, cooking, cleaning etc. It seems her son is "getting away for caring for his Mom". You could, if possible try to reach him, and tell him of the ongoing situation, and yes, there are social agencies that would "help" this lady, for doctor's appointments or grocery shopping etc.

Elderly people are encouraged to "stay" in their homes" as it is very "costly" for residences. (And they will go after all of her "savings" for care). You might like to inform the son also..

Don't feel "bad" or obligated" do what you can , whenever possible, but bottom line ,the responsibility resides on the "Son". After, all it's his MOM not yours.
Take care. God Bless you and give "courage" to rectify this with the son.
with empathy,
Carmen

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Refocus
by: Anonymous

I agree with Christine. Your neighbor is striving to maintain the independence she has left;and if you could help her by being a good neighbor, your kindness will be repaid in ways you may not be able to understand at this time. Do what you can; when unable to do help, tell her politely. Your time will be here one day if you live long enough. I care for my 86 year old mother and hold down a full time job--am thankful I am able to do so. Look at it as an opportunity to give back.

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Try to show a little care
by: Christine

She only calls you once every few weeks? It doesn't sound like she's really interfering with your life too much. Either just be kind and help her out once in a while, or explain as nicely as you can why you're not available.

Don't wish her into assisted living; that's just unkind and selfish. Try to remember that we'll all need a little help from friends and neighbors some day, even you.

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