How can I assist my neighbor? | Existence

D.EAR ANNIE: I have a neighbor who is 90 years old. Her only caregiver was her adult son, who died last week after a long battle with opioid addiction. Since then, I and another neighbor check for her several times a day, as she is in need of care. We bought groceries for them, picked up prescriptions and ran errands. We also ran a food train with other neighbors on the street. The problem is what to do in the long run. She needs a lot of care because she is disabled and cannot move around the house by herself. In fact, she came out of the hospital a few days before her son’s death after a four-week stay. I’ve contacted social services several times, but they haven’t shown up yet. I think she’s an extreme risk of falling. Do you know of options?

She has no other family around. Their only living relatives are on the opposite coast and are over 80 years old. We don’t know what to do, but it feels like an emergency. – Afraid for my neighbor

LOVE FEAR: What a tragic situation. My heart goes out to this woman. Would it be possible for her to return to the hospital in the short term until she has home care? It is dangerous for her to be alone and she has no one to stay with. This is an emergency well worth hospitalization.

Then help her develop a long-term plan. If she has Medicare, she should be eligible for some home health services. Medicare does not cover 24/7 home care, only part-time care up to 28 hours per week. (Learn more at From what you’ve shared, it seems like she needs 24/7 care at this point. If she had Original Medicare, that would cover a 100-day stay in a qualified care facility. You might ask if she would allow you to speak to her doctor so you can help her make an informed decision. I wish her all the best and praise you for shaking hands with her in times of need. The world needs more neighbors like you.

LOVE ANNIE: I feel that your advice did not go far enough when you responded to “Am I wrong,” the man whose father-in-law harasses him constantly about his children’s religious education and other matters. He was ready to divorce his wife because of the FIL mistreatment. They essentially encouraged him to be patient with his wife and not hold her against her father’s behavior. I do not agree with you. His wife should have turned against her parents years ago. She should have said, “Mom, Dad, I love you, but if you keep making derogatory remarks about my husband or me, you will see a lot less of us. Have I made myself clear? ”That’s it. Hard hold. At this point, the letter writer and his wife must work with a licensed marriage and family therapist to learn how to present a united front to their parents. – Debbie

LOVE DEBBIE: Seeking a marriage counselor would be an excellent idea for this couple, as their father-in-law has placed a lot of baggage on them over the years that they must unpack in order to live happily together. Thanks for the hint.

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