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Elderly neighbour help please?

(72 Posts)
Wellfuckmeinbothears Tue 14-Nov-17 12:27:09

Hello could just do with a bit of MN advice please!

DP and I have been living in our new ground floor flat for 4 months. We have an elderly lady (early 80’s) opposite us. When we moved in she introduced herself, dogs said hello etc. I bumped into her in the corridor a couple of times and got talking and she has never mentioned any family or friends. We used to regularly see her pottering about in her garden but recently we haven’t and we noticed her dog has been barking a bit more. I saw her this morning and she appeared very frail. She then later knocked on the door about a small matter within the adjourning gardens and was very frail and low. I asked her how she was and she said she hadn’t been good lately. She said she had “spells every now and then and it’s just old age” but I am really concerned about her. As I said above she doesn’t have seem to have any friends or family. I don’t want to appear pushy but I really want to help if I can! Should I knock every other day and see if she needs any shopping or if she’d like me to walk her dog? Is that interfering? I would just really like to find a way to help her if she needs it but without making her think I don’t think she can manage.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

Bringmewineandcake Tue 14-Nov-17 12:31:01

It sounds like a lovely thing to do smile
She’ll probably say no the first couple of times (British politeness) but once she’s used to your offer she might accept your help from time to time.

maddiemookins16mum Tue 14-Nov-17 12:31:16

I'd say that doing what you suggested is being a lovely neighbour. It's not too intrusive but practical help like that is great. Also might be worth checking if she needs a prescription picked up or even, if practical for you, a lift down the surgery?

ohfourfoxache Tue 14-Nov-17 12:31:19

I don’t think that sounds interfering at all - it actually sounds rather lovely

BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou Tue 14-Nov-17 12:32:06

For now I would give her your phone number and let her know that she can call you if she needs anything and see how things progress from there.

Ausparent Tue 14-Nov-17 12:32:43

If you don't mind doing that, I think it would be wonderful. It is definitely not interfering. She can always say no thank you.

It is far easier to offer help than to ask for it sometimes and she may well be feeling lonely and isolated.

You are a lovely person OP and I hope when I am old I end up with a neighbour like you halo

MammaTJ Tue 14-Nov-17 12:37:03

We need more of this!

I used to look after the lady across the road. I would pop in every day, DP would do heavy shopping for her and I ended up having to call an ambulance for her 4 times in all. The final time, I found her unconscious on the floor next to her bed, I had used the key she had given me to get in, when the lady who walked both our dogs could not get into the main part of the house.

She has since passed away, but I think would have done a year earlier if I had not looked after her in the way I did.

Wellfuckmeinbothears Tue 14-Nov-17 12:46:37

Thank you everyone! I just hate to think of her across the hall struggling and lonely. I said to her this morning when she knocked that I’m always home and more than happy to help her but I think a PP was right; it’s easier to accept the offer of help than have to ask for it. Maybe I could start with giving her a knock when I’m taking my dog for a walk in the morning and ask if hers would like to come? Then maybe if I drop her dog off I could say I’m popping out does she need anything?

mrsharrison Tue 14-Nov-17 12:51:32

Yes i do that with my elderley neighbour. When its cold outside i buy her teabags, milk sugar and bread plus a doughnut which she loves. She always insists on giving me the money. She was very proud at first but now i go in once a week and have a cup of tea with her. It would be great if you could look out for her.

bettydraper31 Tue 14-Nov-17 12:53:39

That sounds lovely OP, good for you smile

What a lovely soul you have x

crazycatgal Tue 14-Nov-17 12:56:10

If she doesn’t have family or friends it would be nice if you could just sit and have lunch or a coffee with her. I’m sure that she would really appreciate the company.

Cammymyle Tue 14-Nov-17 13:03:52

Lovely to see a kindly post about an elderly neighbour!

ToesInWater Tue 14-Nov-17 13:16:27

I hope I have a lovely neighbour like you if I ever end up old and alone! I think starting with an offer to walk the dog sounds like a great idea. If she is the kind of person who doesn’t like asking for help, she is more likely to agree to something that will benefit the dog and you can go from there.

sashh Tue 14-Nov-17 13:16:40

Go with the dog walk plan you fabulous person.

ComingUpTrumps Tue 14-Nov-17 13:18:28

That sounds like a lovely idea OP smile I think giving her your phone number to start with, as a PP suggested, is a good way of starting it, and then perhaps popping over a couple of days after that just to ask if she would like anything smile

ComingUpTrumps Tue 14-Nov-17 13:19:08

Fab idea about the dog walking too smile

Bluelonerose Tue 14-Nov-17 13:22:35

That sounds lovely.
If you think she needs additional help you could try ss too.

Glumglowworm Tue 14-Nov-17 13:24:55

Your plan sounds great

It's not interfering

Agree that she may appreciate a coffee or lunch with your company, as much as the favours

Cammymyle Tue 14-Nov-17 13:30:45

I agree that offering to take the dog out is likely to be very much appreciated, and she won't feel so bad as you're going out with your own dog anyway. Then you can take it from there.

Phoning you to ask for help might be hard for her to do , although very helpful in an emergency.

FacelikeaBagofHammers Tue 14-Nov-17 13:36:25

I'd drop a note in some evening - mention that you are going shopping on whatever date, if she had a list ready you could pick up a few things for her.

It's not maybe as intrusive (in the 'put her on the spot' kinda way) - might give her time to think up something that'd be helpful to her.

You sound like a lovely neighbour.

Therealjudgejudy Tue 14-Nov-17 13:37:13

You sound lovely. Love reading posts like this

pixelated Tue 14-Nov-17 13:38:33

What a lovely, kind neighbour you are. I too hope that I am lucky enough to have a neighbour like you when I'm old and frail.

Just popping in for a cuppa and a chat, perhaps once a week if you can would be lovely and then gently ask if she needs help with shopping or walking the dog. She may well say no thank you, many of that generation were brought up to just get on with things without complaining, but just knowing that you are there and can be called on if needed will be a comfort to her I'm sure. With many elderly people, it's the crushing loneliness alongside the expected age related problems that's one of the biggest issues.

You sound wonderfully caring.

Wellfuckmeinbothears Tue 14-Nov-17 18:04:56

Aw thank you! I’d love to have a cup of tea/lunch with her a few times a week, she’s such a lovely lady and I bet she’s got some fascinating stories! Thank you for giving me the confidence that I’m not interfering. I’m going to give her a knock in the morning as I take my dog out and take it from there! I know what is brits can be like when it comes to politeness so expect to be turned down a couple of times but will persevere and make sure she knows I’m offering help because I want to not because I feel I should!

Thank you flowers

MammaTJ Thu 16-Nov-17 22:33:41

How did that go OP?

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Thu 16-Nov-17 22:54:48

Did you take her dog out op?

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