Monday, June 16, 2014


Yesterday, while heading out for my 5+ walk/run, over 10,000 steps walk, loaded up with MP3 player, earphones and tunes  playing in my ears going, gps trying to get satellite communication and pedometer hooked to my shorts, I saw my new, elderly, 86 year old neighbor out of the corner of my eye near the trash bins.  I could see her struggling with her walker rolling away from her and she trying to put three bags of garbage in the trash bin.  I quickly ran over to her just in time of her falling...again.  She said she fell last week going out to get the mail and showed me bruises going up her right arm.  She said man helped her.

She then started crying saying it is so frustrating for her now that she can't do much any more and proceeded to tell me of all of the things that she has been enduring.  From falling last year and breaking her hip and ribs, having had three pacemakers, cancer of the liver which a quarter of it was removed, heart problems and a bunch of other things.

I quickly grabbed her and her walker.  We both straightened the walker out and still holding her up, we both walked to her apartment.  I almost started crying too, but thought to myself, I have to be strong and I just continually told her that she was doing fine walking and I was there if she felt like she was going to fall.  She just kept telling me how embarrassed she was and I kept saying you're doing fine and yes, it must be hard after all that she's been through. 

As we entered her apartment, I set her down in her chair.  She started crying again.  I asked her if she would like me to call someone or get her anything, i.e., a glass of water.  Evidently, she is always hunched over  in a way that she is unable to look up, so I got on my knees and talked to her looking up at her.

She said her daughter was going to come tomorrow, maybe with the son in law.  Also, the cleaning lady was going to come also.

She asked if there was a way she could get her mail mailed directly to her door.  I said yes, other people her do that that needs that service.  She asked if she needed doctors' reports.  I said I did not know, but her daughter could find out about that.  I told her she needed someone to stay with her longer than just the cleaning lady coming in twice a month and her daughter coming...whenever.  She agreed.  Now I'm wondering whether I should speak with her daughter or son in law when they come tomorrow.  She said she didn't want her daughter to know about this.  Probably because her daughter would put her in a home, which is where she probably belongs.

As I was talking with her and patting her hands which were crossed over her lap, I gave her my phone number in case she needed anything.  I also noticed that her housecoat, which she was wearing over a nightgown, had food and coffee stains running down the front of it and also the whole robe looked like it hadn't been washed for weeks.

I pondered whether I should go to the manager's office to report this, but told myself to stay out of it because the manager could care less about these people's welfare.  I don't even know how this frail, elderly 86 year old lady was allowed to live here alone.

So on my way out, I told her I was going for my walk and wouldn't be back for about two hours before she could call me.

These places are so depressing for me and I know I have to say this again, "I gotta get otta here."

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