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It's best to Take Care of our Elders

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  • It's best to Take Care of our Elders

    Can't remember if this discussion has been had on this forum or another, but here's a tough story to witness, or read, or see.

    I'm working in a subdivision where I'm working for numerous older people, meaning everyone above 60. The lady I worked for today was 88 and gets around better than me.

    Anyway, a customer I worked for last week, she's 92 told me that a customer I work for who's 89 has been having problems.

    The 92 year old just 7 years ago helped me up and down the steps with a water heater!!! I begged her not to help, she insisted no matter what. Freaking crazy. She's now using a walker, has numb arms and legs. Sad.

    This 89 year old religiously cuts her own grass, does everything in the yard, you name it.


    Today I paid her a visit, unannounced because I beeped and waved as I passed her home as she was sitting on her porch. When I finished my job, I stopped in, and something odd appeared.

    Her tools were everywhere, all over the yard and looks like she just went to get a drink of water. I knocked once, knocked twice, then started to grow concerned that something just wasn't right.

    Apparently she went to bed. She came out in a robe, said she was sleeping as she over did it in the yard. Anyone could of walked off with everything she owned. It was crazy.

    I offered to help gather up her tools so she could call it a day but she flatly refused.

    She told me she's been having a lot of problems lately and for the first time she wasn't open with me. She'll usually talk about anything whether you want her to or not. It's okay though. You have to be an open ear just for the benefit of others.

    I surely wasn't going to press her for the information but I could see the pain of her words radiating through her eyes. I'm not making it up. It was of grave concern and for the first time it wasn't followed by a smile or grin, or simple statement.

    That image of her pain/concern has stuck with me since it happened at 4pm today. This is one of the nicest people you could meet, I met her at my mother's funeral indirectly. She was sitting directly behind me with my ex at my side totally destroyed by the moment.

    This woman I'm speaking of delivered groceries to my mother and her family almost 50 years ago, as grocery stores did home delivery back then.

    She is a wealth of knowledge of the woman I only knew for 35 years, and it was an awesome privilege to hear how she talked of my family when I wasn't in the equation yet. This woman wasn't telling stories today.

    She was concerned and didn't want to tell me, for the first time in all the years I've known her.

    Whatever it was, it must be serious and her desire to push forward is still there. She did say with great pain that someone else is soon going to cut her yard, and it won't be sickness that crumbles her's going to be the letting go of everything that kept her alive for so long, and yardwork is just one of her many mind drives she believes in for youthful spirit.

    All i can do at this point, and this is by her doings not mine, is pray for her. I didn't leave there telling her I would do this, but I feel it is needed because if you saw the look this woman gave me know there's something grave in those eyes that you just know isn't good.

    Could be cancer, I simply don't know. But I can tell you that I felt her concern more than she'll ever know.

    I kinda wish I would of picked up her tools scattered around as stubbornness most likely created that instant no response, even though the effort was probably more than she could handle.

    You can get attached to your customer base by just human kindness, and this particular customer means more than the many I've worked for in years past. She's shared a good deal of her life in those times my hands were moving and my ears were listening.

    Somehow, in a not so intrusive way I'm going to have to keep tabs on this woman and make damn sure she doesn't spend time away from home, most likely in a hospital not having but a small network of family at her side.

    Her friends told me it wasn't good. Those words and the almost dead stare today confirmed what I believe to be no reversal of fortune.

    I at least owe her the notification that someone other than a family member cares for her well being.
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  • #2
    Re: It's best to Take Care of our Elders

    First off, I think when you have a feeling about something it's good to act on it so you don't have regrets later on. You can't get personally attached with every customer, but there's nothing wrong with looking in on, or looking out for a special one now and then.

    My Mom lives in a senior housing building not too far from me and I vist a couple times a week to take her shopping. They have a nice team of folks who manage the place and do their best to keep tabs on the residents. Caring for the elderly is not very easy, physical and mental illnesses make it difficult to manage or predict their behavior. The multitude of medications also complicates things.

    I would suggest if you really want to help, make sure there is a list of her medications in plain view just in case paramedics need to respond to her residence. Does she have a "no resuccitation" order in case of severe illness?
    Does she have any interests that don't involve the same level of physical efforts, things like reading, puzzles, arts & crafts? Do you think she is too ill or depressed to spend some time with other folks in the area?

    Most towns have facilities for seniors and provide transportation for very little money or for free. We are living longer as a society, but qualtiy of life depends on many things. Caring about the well being of those who can't care for themselves is a great qualtiy, good luck.