Gransnet forums


visiting a neighbour in hospital

(49 Posts)
karmalady Wed 03-May-23 16:57:32

Stroke three weeks ago, now in rehab and bored, left side not working, speech is ok. His oh, has rarely visited, he worships the ground she walks on and does everything for her. Both over 80 and she is strong, well and can drive. Separate houses but 24/7 together in either house, up to the stroke

His dd and her husband have come down, living in his house right now, soon to return to their own home, several hours away

My dilemma is about not wanting to go above being a good neighbour, which I am eg clearing weeds off his drive and mine, getting some shopping for him when he had covid and so on.

My AC and my siblings have advised me to distance myself, that it is the `job` of his dd to ensure that there is a care package in place. All too easy for dd to step back, go home and leave this kind neighbour to do the caring, shopping, organising

I am not going to visit, that could well be the first step of falling into that care scenario.

I need some wise words from you

Aveline Wed 03-May-23 17:01:58

Just a visit wouldn't commit you to anything. It might just brighten his day.

Hithere Wed 03-May-23 17:25:45

Your AC and siblings are right

A visit is more than kind

Ask yourself - why do you need to rescue him?

Callistemon21 Wed 03-May-23 17:48:33

A friendly visit is not a commitment to help when he comes out of hospital.

His family needs to ensure a care package is put in place and the house is suitable for his needs.

If his OH is fairly fit, she can organise his shopping, perhaps arranging home deliveries including ready meals and come over to unpack the groceries..

NanaDana Wed 03-May-23 18:01:55

Why assume that a friendly, supportive visit would commit you to, in effect, arranging a care package for him? That's his family's responsibility, not yours. In your position I would simply continue to provide the same level of good neighbourly support that you have given in the past, which is more than generous.

Franbern Wed 03-May-23 18:04:34

Before he leaves hospital a care package should be put in place, and his home should be checked to ensure that it is suitable for him to be able to continue his convalescent. As he has a wife, she should be very much a part of this arrangement.

Hospitals visits by anyone really can be a great help - such a visit does not carry any sort of future caring.

mumofmadboys Wed 03-May-23 18:06:23

It would be a shame not to visit. Of course it does not commit you to future care. It is just part of being a friendly neighbour and showing that you care.

M0nica Wed 03-May-23 19:06:00

All you need to do, is say 'No' if anyone tries to make you part of any care plan. Ignore any attempts to morally blackmail you int doing aything.

Then visit as much as you like.

Yammy Wed 03-May-23 19:21:48

make it clear to the nursing staff that you are a neighbour. If they ask you to help you need to brace yourself and say no ,you would not want to tread on families toes.
There needs to be a care package in place before he is sent home and don't fall for the "Could you be there when he does". Hard as it is I have seen this scenario quite a few times.
Our last neighbours son asked us to hold a key and look around the garden to make sure no one was entering when they were in hospital. He didn't even bother to tell us they had gone into a Care home .

Hithere Wed 03-May-23 19:28:39

Why would a visit automatically assumed you are part of care package and support? I am missing the link

Bizziebe Wed 03-May-23 19:43:53

Seeing as you looked out for him a bit during covid, I think it would be quite normal to visit him in hospital without needing to get involved in his future care.

ExDancer Wed 03-May-23 19:59:00

Everyone is talking good sense, visit as much as you feel like, just don't agree to any formalised care. Stay in charge of your own actions and keep it casual so that his family don't take advantage of you.

MerylStreep Wed 03-May-23 20:02:30

It’s been our experience that you think the family will have to step up and they still don’t.
You do what you have to do.

Aldom Wed 03-May-23 20:05:07

Your neighbour's wife is his next of kin. Responsibility for his care package lies with her, and rightly so.
Just visit as a thoughtful neighbour. No commitment involved.

Callistemon21 Wed 03-May-23 20:10:37

Stay in charge of your own actions

This ✅

Glorianny Wed 03-May-23 20:12:00

I think a visit would be appreciated. I know my experience of hospitals and care packages was very different from many people's. No one expected or asked me to take care of my mum, they were putting together a professional package I don't think visiting commits you to anything. But if you are asked to take on any duties just make it very clear you have no intention of doing any such thing.

LRavenscroft Wed 03-May-23 20:26:59

I live in a house with 2 very elderly people either side. I do hold keys in case of emergency but let the children carry the full responsibility for the day to day care. The odd Christmas card and friendly chat do not go amiss but a good care package put in place by the family should work in favour of the elderly person. And, you won't get blamed if anything goes wrong.

CanadianGran Wed 03-May-23 20:43:30

I would ensure you have the contact number of the daughter and the wife, in case anything should happen you could call them.

If you are worried that they would call on you, then don't.

karmalady Wed 03-May-23 21:14:41

I will have nothing to do with any care package, that is for his dd to sort out. His dd will soon be gone and I am the closest friendly face.

Callistemon, thank you. I do find it difficult to say no to requests, particularly when they could make someone elses life better. One request will lead to another, so yes the ball is in my court

Thank you for the responses, I am going to leave it at that for now. Food for thought

karmalady Wed 03-May-23 21:24:50

He has not got a wife btw, she is an OH and they more or less live together, half the time in her house and half in his. She refused to get married

Also a few months ago, him and his oh were obviously discussing how they would manage in his house as they became older. I was chatting with him soon after and he said that I could get his shopping for them. I do think that there could be a slippery slope ahead for me if I don`t stay strong at this early stage

Hetty58 Wed 03-May-23 21:40:40

Just don't ever offer to help - beyond contacting his family if necessary. You could visit, though.

You have no idea why his OH is not visiting regularly. There could be all sorts of reasons (hospital phobia, claustrophobia, anxiety etc.) - along with being 'over eighty' and perhaps driving only locally. Don't be too harsh.

Callistemon21 Wed 03-May-23 23:17:53

I was chatting with him soon after and he said that I could get his shopping for them
Just say no, politely.
They could wear you out with demands if you start helping.

You can be a kind and friendly neighbour (over the fence) and offer to contact family or his OH immediately if you realise he needs help at any point.

biglouis Thu 04-May-23 00:01:21

My NDN had dementia and lives alone in a 5 bedroom house. Her children visit about once every 2/3 weeks but other than that she is probably getting into a muddle with things like banking, etc. I dont know how she copes for shopping. I made a practice not to get involved in any way. I once helped a neighbour a few years ago and got lumbered. I am disabled myself now so have a perfect excuse. I can see the neighbour on the other side getting drwn in. I steer clear.

echt Thu 04-May-23 00:08:16

I would say visit, it would be the kind and neighbourly thing to do. However if the man's OH is capable, then there's no reason for you to be gardening/shopping at all.
The only potential difficulty I see is the the visiting family already perceive you as having a greater role than you intend, so worth popping round to introduce yourself and say what you've been doing and its limits. They may need have conversation with the man in rehab to refer all his requests to his OH.

echt Thu 04-May-23 00:23:19

Sorry, that should be might already perceive you, etc.