How do I deal with a very NEEDY, post stroke, Neighbour?
She was in hospital for 6 months or more and then when she came home he looked after her for a few months and then decided to go travelling for 2 years.
When he came home they argued all the time. They fell out massively and he moved out.
Since then it's fallen on us neighbours to help her. I have done her shopping for years - I have even had to pay for some bits myself because she said she didn't order it when I had her list with me! She cant reason any more and it's not worth arguing.
She can hardly walk - stair lift and adapted shower etc. She is severely disabled.
Her whole side is defunct and its terrible.
She calls around my house 3 or 4 times a week with some trauma that needs sorting immediately... for example:
I have to fix her leg brace as the screws have fallen out.
She can't get her arm brace on so I have to uncurl her destroyed fingers and get her hand and arm into the arm splint (which nearly makes me vomit - the cold of the fingers and the dead skin where the circulation is all gone and the smell of the sweaty arm brace euurrghhh!)
The drawer has fallen out of the freezer and she needs it putting in.
She dropped a glass of squash and needs it mopping up and the glass shards locating and throwing away.
She wanted to sit in the sun - could I put sun cream on her good arm as the dead arm can't apply sunscreen,
Could I shave her good armpit as she couldnt manage it - and then when I gathered myself enough strength of mind to do the task - it was a complete mess as she had cut it to ribbons already with a razor so had to mop up her blood too!!
Apply Ibuleve gel to her elbow as she had been using her good arm too much and now had tennis elbow.
Drive her to the doctors.
re-set her stairlift after a power cut
Pay her bills
Then more random stuff recently...:
Look into a buzzing noise that's coming from my house, or my garden that's driving her insane and shes called environmental health - when actually it turned out she had an ear infection!!
Come and look at the footprints in the snow where she thinks burglars have been trying to get in (which were actually melted patches where a cat has walked across her garden)
Fix her telephone line as she can't make a call - when actually she left the phone on in the bath.
It's not just me - those are the times I am there!! These things are happening daily and it's really getting us all down. We dont mind helping, but cant help but think that she needs to be in a home, or have some kind of help or live in nurse/companion.
I guess i dont really need to say it but I mean, I have my own life to live; a son whom I need to look after and 3 jobs!! When I am at home, I dont need to be spending an hour helping her or trying to help her reason out some problem or other and I feel my fuse getting shorter and shorter.
A couple of people in the road have blocked her telephone number and dont answer the door any more.
Whenever I leave my front door she is suddenly there - I see her stick come out. She makes like she is going to her bin which is between our houses but it happens too often to be a co-incidence and occasionally I dive back in the house before she sees me as I get a heads up with the walking stick!
I hate to admit it, but it's just not right that she needs the help but wont pay for it, no one can reason with her that she needs it, but that I/we have to!! Even her son doesnt bother with her any more.
What can be done in this situation. I am all for being kind and loving, but there is a limit. she's not even very nice to me on some occasions. She accuses me of all kinds of things that are irrational - like recently she said she nearly called the police on a loud party in my house when actually there was no one there as we were on holiday in Spain!!
I have no idea if there are agencies who deal with situations like this - She needs help badly and I dont think it should be down to me.
Please help me with details of agencies, or similar kinds of groups or even good ways to tell her I'm sorry I cant help. I feel like such a cow, but I'm at my wits end.