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Am I too soft hearted?

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:11 pm
by highlandcow
Hello all

I'm not sure on something. My neighbour, an elderly man, isn't in the best of health, and he's just told me he's on the heart transplant list. He's not sure how long he's got. He doesn't have any friends or family. He says I'm the only person he knows that he can talk to about his worries.

He's not sure when he goes into hospital but I said I would go and visit him as he hasn't got anyone else. I also said I would get in some shopping in and things and visit him at home to make sure he's OK. He cried and said he was really happy to have made a friend. When I said my boyfriend would come with me to visit him, he was even happier as it meant he had two friends now.

It's not really a problem, as such, but do you think I'm being too soft hearted? Am I wrong for getting this involved?

I know doing something like this, should make me feel good, but I just want to cry. :-({|=

Am I too soft hearted?

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:53 pm
by Skarlet
It is a nice thing to do Highlandcow, you could talk to Age concern who might be able to arrange for him to have extra support so you don't feel so pressured.

Re: Am I too soft hearted?

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:58 pm
by Ticktock
It's a great thing you are doing, so many of the people who went to dialysis with my mother went back to empty houses, vaguely terrifying when you think we may all end up that way.

Old age and poor health can be terribly isolating.

Age Concern do a good homehelp service if your neighbour can afford it and you may want to consider introducing him to the internet as a way of communicating with the outside world. Since he is on the heart transplant list he is probably entitled to a degree of support anyway, make sure he is talking to the hospital social worker and is getting what he deserves.

Be honest with him about how much you can help, a regular visit one or twice a week can make all the difference and may mean he doesn't die alone, you are doing something good, be proud of yourself.

Re: Am I too soft hearted?

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:38 pm
by highlandcow
Thank you so much Skarlet and Ticktock for your words, it's nice to know that I'm doing a good thing.

I'm going to go and see him on Saturday with my boyfriend and see how he's doing. I will also find out what sort of support he's getting through his doctor and the hospital.

This experience is bringing up some issues for me though. I'm really scared that I'll knock on his door...and he won't answer. If there is no one else to help, how much do I have to deal with? Seeing another person struggling like this, makes me scared about the same thing happening to me one day.

Re: Am I too soft hearted?

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:16 am
by Bel Bel
I think it's perfectly normal to be scared and the other suggestions of contacting age concern etc are a great idea

At the end of the day put yourself in this guys shoes, you would want someone to do the sme for you. Just don't agree to do more than you feel you can. I am sure he is so grateful that someone actually cares. Nothing could be worse than dying alone.

If he doesn't answer the door one day then call the local social worker. Try to get all the contact numbers for his doctor etc just in case

I think what you are doing is really nice

Re: Am I too soft hearted?

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:16 pm
by highlandcow
Thanks Bel Bel. :D

Thank you for letting me know it's OK to be scared. I talked to my parents as well and they both told me that I should be aware that there is only so much I can do and I'm only a neighbour.

I was supposed to pop in and see him today but he knocked on my door last night and told me that he was going out today and didn't want me to worry if he wasn't answering the door.

I'll let you all know what happens. Thank you so much for all the support. :D