Elderly Vulnerability

this image shows a lonely elderly woman with her head in her hands sat at a table

Lonely and alone – the vulnerability of the elderly. Case study

The last couple of days have been tough at work. I have once again realised the loneliness and vulnerability some elderly people endure.

I arrived at one clients house today and was unable to gain access. Her bedroom curtains were closed,they always are – she has lost her husband,dog and son-in-law all within 6 months of each other, Social Services refused to provide emotional support stating she was not utilising the enabling service and the time and money was best utilised elsewhere. She has no reason to get up.

I phoned and rang the door bell and still no answer. I returned home and asked her former care provider to contact her relative nearby to check on her. She could have been lying dead in her bed for all I knew.

They thankfully did and he unlocked the door for me, although had left by the time I arrived five minutes later.

She had had a nasty fall the previous day and had had a bad night and slept through the phone and doorbell.

My workload has increased as now I am one of the few people to care for her. Her family think she should be in a care home and whilst I agree on certain points-regular meals, monitoring medication,company etc – she wants to stay in the home she had shared with her husband and lived in for so many years and that wish needs to be respected.

She was sore and bruised and having difficultly breathing, making me question whether she had cracked a rib. I had an hour to make her a cup of tea, clean the house,change the bed, put the rubbish out and still give her some well needed attention. I really struggled when for the first time in many,many months she sat on the edge of the bed and got dressed.

She never gets dressed whilst I am there usually. She thought she was going to work at the job she had many many years ago as a secretary. I had to tell her that she had not worked for many years. She had a box of antibiotics on the floor by the bed and I suspect she had a urine infection leading to the confusion. I contacted the family ( I now have their number) and voiced my concerns.

Later during the same day a lady I have been with for years who is also showing signs of dementia, had not made her bed,emptied the commode ,all things she would always have done before. Her family live miles and miles away and although care very much seem oblivious to her cognitive decline. Her next door neighbour is her saving grace. She checks on her every day and night before going to bed. Thank goodness for wonderful neighbours .

Please vote for me in the Final of “Blogger of the Year”. Caron Cares has made it into the top 5 Charity and Social Cause blogs in the UK and now it is a numbers game to decide the winner. I would like to win to be able to use the internet to raise awareness about the struggles the elderly face on a daily basis and what is available to help them and those who care for them.

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Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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