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to buy my elderly neighbour wine and cigarettes

(199 Posts)
gta Sat 22-Apr-17 07:21:33

She's 76
She has emphysema and a condition which makes her discs in her back crumble away basically
Her only son died last year of a rare cancer and since then she's asked me to get her 40 cigarettes and 2 bottles of wine daily
At first I refused until she told me she's 100% definitely going to die of her conditions and she just wants to enjoy her life and if I didn't go to the shop for her she'd walk herself and end up being in immense pain and breathless on her nebuliser for the rest of the afternoon!
My partner thinks I shouldn't be aiding her , but I felt so bad watching her hobble to the shops I thought if she's gonna do it anyway , I might as well make it as easy as I can for her so aibu???

HallowedMimic Sat 22-Apr-17 07:27:33


Her small pleasures will be the only ones she has now.

She's harming no one, and not even prolonging her own agony.

The hospice here has a fantastic drinks trolley, available at all hours. I'd imagine they accommodate smoking if they can, taking into account flammable substances and workplace regs.

highinthesky Sat 22-Apr-17 07:29:48

If you can live with the guilt of being an enabler, go ahead.

What she needs is proper support for her conditions. 2 bottles of wine a day should be ringing warning bells that your neighbour is in severe pain. What happens when she falls down drunk and breaks a bone?

I have a little more sympathy for smoking, but again the NHS offers plenty of help to those who want to quit.

user1492287253 Sat 22-Apr-17 07:30:58

I would. In fact mant smokers i know have said they are going to start again at 80 if they are still here.

PoliticalBiscuit Sat 22-Apr-17 07:32:17

You're obviously trying to be a good neighbour flowers

It sounds really self destructive rather than to enjoy life. I'd probably tell her I'd get her a bottle of wine every 2 days and a pack 20 cigs a day.

sandgrown Sat 22-Apr-17 07:34:23

My mum died very quickly of cancer . When she was in hospital she just wanted a cigarette. The hospital would not let me take her outside and I did consider pushing her over to the window and letting her have one. She died years ago and I still feel guilty that I could not fulfil her dying wish. I think I would get them for her as she probably has few other pleasures.

SideOrderofSprouts Sat 22-Apr-17 07:36:46


She's 76 not a child. She knows what she wants. Hell I will probably be the same.

millmoo Sat 22-Apr-17 07:38:26

I would definitely buy it for her .
They are the only pleasure she has in life.

laundryelf Sat 22-Apr-17 07:41:14

My uncle quit smoking a year before he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He started again when they told him he was terminal and had couple of months left at most. I was shocked but he explained he had missed it so much and just wanted to enjoy what time he had left. He had his last smoke and a large very expensive whisky the morning of his last day.

acquiescence Sat 22-Apr-17 07:41:40

However there are some other questions - she can't get any shopping in? Do you do all her shopping for her? If so this is a lot to ask. If not why does the other person who does her shopping not get these items? Does she need a Social Care assessment?
You are a good neighbour though OP and being an 'enabler' isn't a negative thing here, you are enabling her to live her life as she wishes. This is not the same as, for example, enabling an underage teenager to access alcohol.

Screwinthetuna Sat 22-Apr-17 07:42:38

Tricky, only because it's so much. I'd probably say I can only get it every few days.
When my nana was in hospital, the nurses turned a blind eye when her and an old lady in the next bed shared a bottle of wine. The carers in my grandad's home also used to wheel him up to the pub for a pint.

PodgeBod Sat 22-Apr-17 07:44:13

Yes, I would. 76 is well old enough to make your own decisions in life and if I'm lucky enough to get to that age, I might drink 2 bottles of wine a day as well grin

ShoesHaveSouls Sat 22-Apr-17 07:45:18


HerBluebiro Sat 22-Apr-17 07:45:19

If you are going to do it. Get what she wants. She is an adult. Don't decide you will help her and only get one bottle and one box of fags. I mean that's still too much for one person. Just less too much than what she wants. So she will still hobble out to get her wine.

She is only 76. She is accelerating her death. She can choose to do this. But her breathing would be so much better off the fags. And alcohol is a shit pain killer.... but she will be physically dependent on it now I'd guess at 2 bottles a day.

Iamastonished Sat 22-Apr-17 07:46:34

My main concern would be her smoking while drunk and falling asleep. This happened in a house near us, and the woman died because she set fire to the settee.

DevilsDumplings Sat 22-Apr-17 07:52:17

The lady is 76, knows her own mind and doesn't need you to Police her consumables .... fetch them for her. They might be her only pleasures.

Passthecake30 Sat 22-Apr-17 07:53:14

I'd worry that she isn't eating well too.

I think I have no problems with the cigarettes but it's too much wine isn't it? I'm smashed after a glass so have no measure... but she could hurt herself or set fire to the house.

Onthecouchagain Sat 22-Apr-17 07:54:38

Yanbu. She's not a child and can do what she bloody well liked.

She's lived to 76, let the woman do as she pleases not what you or anyone else thinks is best for her.

happydays2017 Sat 22-Apr-17 07:55:03

Omg I can't believe the responses on here re cutting her intake down etc! She is an ADULT of sound mind and the OP is doing her a FAVOUR! Not enabling in the true sense of the word!
She has made her own decisions re HER life! Btw I would buy it in bulk for her to save you the hassle!

gta Sat 22-Apr-17 08:03:53

Another one of our neighbours does her shopping for her at Iceland every week but he refuses to buy her the wine and cigs so she asks me 'on the sly'
She's not putting me out of my way as the shop is on the way to school .
The shop is a 10 min walk on the main road or a 2 minute walk through an abandoned car park which is being used for fly tipping , i was worrying more about her tripping up there

gta Sat 22-Apr-17 08:04:18

The wine doesn't even seem to be getting her drunk anymore sad

user1491572121 Sat 22-Apr-17 08:05:49

I would. She's on the way out bless her. It's her choice as an're not an enabler. You're a helpful neighbour.

andpeggy29 Sat 22-Apr-17 08:06:03

One of my nans best friends is 81, and compleatly riddled with cancer. She knows her time is short n because of this she is enjoying life. Going out for dinner most nights and drinking copious amounts of wine. Quite often I'll go round hers just to check on her see if she's alright n share a bottle or 2 with her while we chat. Her own daughter and granddaughter don't bother or really want to know her, so we bother instead. She finds it a real comfort. Somthing I'm happy to supply to someone in need

Maylani Sat 22-Apr-17 08:06:39

I don't buy it her. But with 2 bottles of wine and 40 cigs a day she is certainly not an adult of sound mind choosing to do what she wants out of free will and for enjoyment.

What she has is severe multi-substance addiction and if she was younger, she'd need help to cut down and eventually quit. However, at age 76, housebound, with a limited lifespan arguably it is too late to do much about it. I'm just shocked how many people think drinking at that level is a matter of choice.

FeedMyFaceWithBattenberg Sat 22-Apr-17 08:10:21

She probably is going to die from it, but you can live with emphysema for around 5 years.
That's a long time to be constantly breathless.

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