Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Seniors Down

The heat has been wreaking havoc here at the senior complex last few days. Two elderly residents ended up being taken to the hospital, via ambulance. One passed away, the other is still hospitalized. And just this morning, while driving to the market, I spied one of our very elderly down on the ground.

I’d had a senior moment a few days ago while at the market in that instead of dish wash liquid, I’d picked up antibacterial hand soap by mistake.

Of course, I didn’t know that. All I knew last few days is I wasn’t liking the liquid I’d decided to try because I liked the pretty orange color.

It just wasn’t cutting the grease.

It wasn’t until this morning I noticed the bottle said “hand soap” and “antibacterial” at that, which isn’t good because I personally believe “antibacterials” lead to bacteria becoming resistant. So I headed off to the market this morning to pick up the blue liquid I normally prefer.

At any rate, too hot to walk the quarter mile, I jumped in the car and, as I turned the corner heading to the market parking lot, I spied a woman I recognized to be a resident down on the ground, walker turned over and all.

I pulled over, as did another woman who went to help her up.

I stayed in the car, rolled down the window and said, “I live in the same complex as she. I’ll take her home.”

The helpful woman indicated the downed senior was saying she wanted to go to the market.

“I’m headed to the market. I’ll help her get her groceries and take her home after.”

And so it went.

I learned the resident’s name, that she is 92 years old, has lived in the complex since it was brand new – 20 years ago, lives alone, does not like the new management, that all her friends moved away because they too do not like the new management, has a son living in Hawaii, another son living in Oakland, and was trying to make it to the market because her helper had not shown up for two days.

She was having trouble breathing, felt faint, but insisted on pushing her walker through the aisles -- purchasing fish sticks, milk, ice cream, instead of sitting and letting me get the items for her.

It took like forever, because she kept feeling faint and would have to stop for a while, but I finally got her through the checkout and back to the complex, at which time she says she forgot to get Jimmy Dean Breakfast bowls.

I offered to park her in her unit and return to the market, but she rathered I drive back to the store, which I did. Where I insisted she remain in the car and rest while I picked up the Breakfast Bowls.

She gave me the cash, I picked up the bowls, gave her cash back, receipt and got her back to the complex. She remembered which building she was in, but could not remember which unit.

Luckily, I ran into a resident living in the same building and inquired if he knew which unit the senior was in. He directed us, she recognized the patio furnishings and confirmed it was her unit.

THEN, she couldn’t unlock the security door saying the maintenance man must have been in while she was gone, locked the bottom lock when he left … she had a key to the top lock, but not the bottom.

So off I go to hunt down the maintenance man who says both the bottom and top were locked when he got there, so she must have that key.

At any rate, he got the door unlocked, I got her inside where I had to force her to sit, relax, drink cold water – she kept wanting to show me around her unit. It WAS cute, in an old school sort of way. So cute, I would have liked to have taken photos to post, but not sure how she’d feel about that, I passed. After putting her groceries up, I asked for like the fifteenth time if I should/could call someone … her son in Oakland, her doctor, her helper. It was like, “No, honey. Don’t call anyone”.

I’m worried, but I also don’t like to get “too involved” to the point where I myself will go by and begin checking on her because one thing leads to another and, sorry folks, I cannot put myself in the position of being a neighbor's keeper. I don't want or need that kind of responsibility; plus, it’s been my life experience “No good deed goes unpunished.” Every single time I’ve gotten “too involved”, I’ve been damaged. Like right now I’m thinking, “What if she doesn’t remember I gave her cash back, a receipt, and accuses me of stealing from her”.

S*it happens.

I did tell her to come down to the Community Room next Monday for bingo. Hopefully, she’ll remember and show up, so I can at least confirm she’s still alive.


  1. Yikes. That sounds terrible. Sure glad you were there and able to help her. Too bad her kids are so far away. Of course, at her age, her kids are probably old, too.

  2. Also, your blogspot requires me to jump through hoops to post a comment.

    1. I did a little research and discovered I could turn off "word verification". Hopefully, the hoops are now gone, but thanks for hanging in there and getting your comment through.