Saturday, 17 October 2015

Caring for Neighbours

An old man collapsed on his kitchen floor, falling heavily and banging his head on the corner of the kitchen table.   Luckily, he always wears an alarm-call around his neck and was able to press the button, although unable to crawl across the floor to the telephone to tell them what had occurred.

This set a procedure in motion and a 'First Responder' was quickly despatched to check up on him.   An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital, not the local one, for they were concerned about his head wound, etc. and there are more facilities at the larger District hospital.

The woman who comes in a couple of times a week to do the housekeeping and cleaning ensured that the house was kept warm, locked, safe, while a lovely man from the village made sure that the old horse was watered, fed, and mucked out the stable.

What had been forgotten in all the hoo-ha was that a delivery of frozen meals was due.    Upon finding that he couldn't get any response and being unable to gain entry to the house, despite the fact that the car was parked in the yard the delivery man telephoned the police to alert them that there was potentially a problem.

The boys in blue, or more likely, PCSO's were quickly on the scene and tried to gain access.   They were spotted by the housekeeper who got there in time to stop them from causing too much damage to the woodwork.  She explained who she was, what had happened and opened the door.

Image borrowed from -

The local handyman was called, minor repairs made.   The police wrote a note explaining the circumstances of the damage.

After a couple of days in hospital the old man was allowed home.   Of course he had no car and at very nearly 100 years of age is not fit to be driving anyway.  

Brrrrng-brrrrrrrrrrrrng!    'Hello, Max?    I'm in hospital, can you pick me up?'

Two hours later,  Max delivers the old man home.    He put on all the lights, helped the old man into a chair and then checked through the contents of the fridge and cupboards and began to draw curtains and blinds, made sure that the man's medication was to hand.

There was a soft click of the outside door and in came the housekeeper.   She'd spotted the lights blazing and realised that the old man must be back.    Max left him to her competent care.

This morning we called in to check on the old man.   He is so white, frail, shaken.   Not surpising, but it is such a shame.    He has soldiered on for so long and now I fear he is unravelling.    Just lately he has had several falls and wobbly episodes.

The community is doing its best for him, we are all very fond of him.   However,  our combined efforts are are like a roughly cobbled together patchwork quilt and he needs so much more.    

Home and Community Care (HACC)
(borrowed from Family Based Care)


  1. It's wonderful that your elderly neighbor has you and Max to look out for him. I'm sure the rewards are bittersweet as his health declines but with all the local "guardian angels" he has watching over him, he can keep on for a while longer. Best wishes to the gentle folk who do it so willingly!

  2. Hello Ms Sparrow, A lot of us are looking out for him, but it all feels rather inadequate. This latest incident has really taken a lot out of him, he looks so fragile and so tired. In addition, I guess it is all bringing back memories of last summer and the decline of my aunt, the feeling that things could and should have been managed so much better. Let's hope he rallies and goes on for another few years!

  3. Great post. He is such a lovely man but I have to say I have sleepless nights not just for him but for the horse too. He's a soldier but he needs so much more. Where is is family? Should someone tell them?

  4. ah me too, +belleau kitchen, as well as the horse is on the gentleman's heart.
    I am going to pray, that God, allows him to regain his spirit, so that he may keep
    his independance, and as well as all the kind neighbors, his housekeeper is a real
    jewel, tending to him and his home, as if he were her own father

  5. Hello Dom + Nancy, I will be checking up on both the man and his horse later this morning and I am sure other people will be doing the same, too. Old Benedict, the horse, has access to his stable and a barn, he has a hay net which is kept filled with sweet, fresh hay, drinking water troughs are full of fresh water. He has a huge paddock to roam and graze. During the summer a girl from the village clipped his coat and pampered him every week. I try to visit most days and I take my granddaughter to see him at the weekends as he simply adores young children and she is a typical horse-loving little girl.
    So, in many ways, the horse is well tended.

    Oscar, the old man, is fiercely independent in so many ways and still tries to do the outdoor jobs which he used to do - despite having to totter (very unsteadily) using two sticks. We all do our bit to help him, we are very fond of him. I used to love it when he'd call in for a cup of tea and talk to me about farming days of old - then he'd move forward and discuss world affairs. That only stopped a few months ago as his health began to fail.

    So many things I can't say here on a blog!


Lovely to hear from you!