My neighbour "x" who has been close to death twice in recent months was discharged from the hospital today. She was sent home from the hospital by taxi. She can barely walk.
I first knew about this when the taxi driver rapped on my door and asked if I had a key to my neighbour's home. I did not.
Thanks to the great cooperation of the taxi driver (a patient saint indeed), and the president of our condo association, we were able to move "x" into the coolness of our clubhouse until we were able to get to the spare door key which is held (in a safe) in our clubhouse office.
All this involved three mad dashes in my car. In the last journey the condo association president and I drove "x" back to her home from the clubhouse and opened the door.
(The first task was to clear out a ton of mail which was making it almost impossible to push the door open. This mail pile included many unpaid bills).
I have never seen such a messy house. What's worse is that there was no food in the house, and no electricity.
What to do?
I called a very fine woman who has in the past been very helpful and kind to "x".
This woman (understandably) was unable to offer help, partly because she has endured a great deal of verbal abuse from "x", and partly because she and her husband are more than busy with full time jobs and with four children.
My good neighbour B made some soup with crackers and melon etc so that "x" would not be hungry overnight. I will take "x" some fast food for her breakfast in the morning.
"X"'s brothers live in Detroit. I called one of them and he told me that a visiting nurse will call upon her tomorrow.
Oh I do so hope that will happen.
I cannot believe that she can live alone without daily care.
I know that we her neighbours do not have the time, ability and legal rights to give her the care she needs.
My best hope is that the visiting nurse and a social worker will be able to persuade the Courts that E needs a legal guardian. (See http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/guardianship/ )
I do not claim to have any altruism or even Christian charity in this case.
My motivation to help "x" is based on self interest.
(1) It is not in my best interests to have a neighbour who lives in squalor and who could die for lack of care.
(2) Her plight reminds me to make preparation for those days to come when I will be unable to "take care of myself".