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Know thy neighbour

Probably not the most apt title as I suppose most of us know our nearest neighbours. Judging from the recurring Problem Neighbour threads, perhaps more than we would like to at times ;)
I'm really referring to those people - particularly the elderly - whom we see on a regular basis ( in our particular case, those who walk their dogs, visit the Cemetary or Churchyard ). Always have a chat, mostly get to know their christian names, names of their dogs, aware they live in the village but that's about it. 
The other day an elderly lady named S was walking her dog.  My OH had just had a chat with her, come indoors and when I went into my garden just a few minutes later I was horrified to see her laying on the opposite pavement.  A passing motorist had seen her fall but was unable to help her to her feet.  Between the 3 of us, we managed to get her up, across the road and settle her and her dog in the house.  Rang for an ambulance but was told it could be several hours before they could get out here.  S was totally confused, couldn't remember where she lived or any phone numbers for relatives - her main concern was being a "nuisance" and worrying about her little dog which was curled up quite contentedly on the sofa next to her.
Luckily the ambulance turned up a couple of hours later, did various bits and pieces and then took S off to hospital.  Unfortunately, we were still left with trying to find out exactly where S lived, contact numbers and at least securing her house as she had no house keys with her. It took us a couple of hours after the ambulance left to find out where S lived. contact her relatives and find one of her neighbours who had looked after her little dog on occasions and was willing to do so again.
Sorry for the somewhat lengthy story but it taught me a lesson - regular chats are fine and many elderly/lonely people appreciate the exchange BUT in case of emergencies such as this, it pays to be a bit nosy during the conversations to find out out the basics early on ( surnames and even a vague address, friends or close neighbours, etc. )


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,539
    What a worry for you all, but good that it all worked out well in the end.

    Yes, although I couldn’t tell you my mobile number if you paid me, I do keep it charged and do carry it with me whenever I go out.

    I have the number written large on the screen side (so that I can appear to quote it effortlessly to anybody who might ask!) and have another label on the reverse which says “Next of Kin” and their number.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 622
    It's so reassuring that there are people like you around Philippa. Did she have a mobile phone with her (I know not many older people don't)? If she did, maybe take a look at her contacts and look for ICE (in case of emergency) - I've made sure ICE is both of my OH phone and my own. Though if she couldn't remember her phone's password could be a bit of b**ger. 

    Sounds like her BP went low, this happens to my OH and his memory blanks out too. He can't remember the episodes where he blanked out at all. Hope the lady comes knocking on your door to thank you when she's on her feet again, but don't be upset if she doesn't she might not remember.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,619
    edited March 2022
    My husband and I were out shopping once and came across a knot of people clustered round an old woman, who was in tears because she couldn't remember where she lived. Luckily for her she lived over the road from us. so we took her home and then hubs called her daughter who lives in the next village, but she was lucky we came past as no one else knew who she was and certainly didn't know where her family lived, (next door to hub's parents)
    Keep your wallet with ID in it on you at all times, (I don't I have to say I'm bad at following my own advice)
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited March 2022
    Best to put your Emergency Medical Info in your smart phone too. It comes up on the lockscreen, even if your phone is locked with a password. You can write in drugs you take, allergies, chronic health problems that medics should know about, blood group etc. So, even if you have blacked out, others can know - along with finding out about the emergency contacts to phone.

  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,643
    Unfortunately this particular lady ( now found out she is 90 ) had nothing with her other than her little dog and a walking stick.
    I did have a similar episode a few years ago but luckily it involved my NDN ( also of a similar age ) who had answered her door to a courier, promptly fell over and broke her hip.  She at least was fully compos mentis, had one of those Alert thingies on her wrist and asked the courier to come and get me. All that entailed was making her comfortable where she lay, contacting her family and sitting on the floor with her and chatting whilst we waited for the ambulance.
    I know it makes sense to always carry at least some form of ID with you but I don't suppose S is alone in thinking "I'm only taking Maisie for a walk round the village..........." 
    I do appreciate your kind comments but the reason I posted was to make people more
    aware that, despite all modern technology, there are those amongst us who do not, or cannot make use of it. 
    It certainly taught me not to assume anything and maybe to be a wee bit more nosy in the future  :)  

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 7,739
    edited March 2022
    ICE numbers are a great idea but many phones, including my own require a PIN in order to access them.  My wife's phone has a full cover on it and has my number on a piece of paper tucked into the front.  My phone only has a partial cover so I'm planning to put her number on a piece of paper and tuck it into the partial cover with a bit sticking out.

    A few years ago I had a situation where an elderly lady had stopped outside our gate.  She seemed confused and I asked if she was OK.  She told me the address she was looking for and I knew it doesn't exist.  When I gently told her this she got really distressed so I drove her round to show her the number didn't exist.  She was adamant that it was the correct address, so all I could do was take her to our local police station and let them deal with it.  I wasn't about to go through her handbag and possibly distress her even more.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,437
    Here if that happened, I'd just go and ask the butcher, who knows everyone (even people who don't shop in the butcher's). Local shops provide so much more than just a shopping experience
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited March 2022

    There are also Android apps that offer it.

    - - -
    Hopefully, if anyone gets in trouble very locally to us, the eight neighbourhood Whatsapp groups and contact phone numbers on the noticeboards should be able to summon help immediately.

    Good to keep emergency info at the front of your wallet too.

  • If that happened to me the only way you'd find out where I lived was if you looked at my dogs tag. I don't carry a mobile phone because I don't own one but most of us with dogs know where everyone lives.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,539
    I know a lot of local people but find their names hard to remember so I usually assign them the name of someone fictional that they remind me of, such as Vera from the Giles cartoons.

    I dread the day that I meet them in the street and call them by their pseudonym. 😬
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
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