Saturday, July 23, 2011

What would you do?

What a beautiful weekend we've had at the coast.  It was a working weekend for us and an extremely hot one.  103 degrees farenheit today. Our business was off today and I'm sure the heat had a lot to do with it.  Just going from the house to the car is miserable.  Then getting the car remotely cool is another problem when just going short distances.  I can see why everyone wanted to stay inside today.

I'm praying that the tourists who traveled in to Holden Beach today for their vacation will get some relief from this intense heat this week.  There's always the ocean breeze; however 103 degrees is still 103 whether you have a breeze or not. 

There's blessings to have in every situation.  I am thankful that we have a nice cool place to call home.  I pray for those who don't.  I've read that there have been many heat related deaths in the Eastern part of the US this week which is where we reside.

What would you do in this situation?  We have an 87 year old acquaintance who sells produce at the open air market that we're a part of.  I've noticed lately that he's not quite himself.  When we drove down on Thursday evening, we saw him sitting in his van at the market all by himself - it was 8 p.m.  I told hubby to pull in since I was worried about him - it was in the high 90's still at that time of the day.  I got out and went to the driver side window and said hello.  He said, "wonder why no-one's here yet - it's almost 8 a.m."  For some reason I knew that's what he would say.  I said "Fulton, why are you here at 8 o'clock at night?"  He said, "Oh my goodness - I thought it was 8 o'clock in the morning."  He had already been there that whole day to sell produce and had gone home at 2 p.m.  He took a nap and got up thinking he had slept all night and got ready again for the market.  I told him to go on home and get some sleep and I would see him in the morning..  He asked me not to tell anyone what he had done.  I made no promises. 

We followed him home to be sure he made it ok but I couldn't comply with his request not to tell anyone.   I called someone who knows him better than I know him to get his son's phone number back in Lumberton.  The person I called said she would call his son, but she had called him several times about him being confused and doing other things like that and he didn't seem to be very concerned about it.  Should I call Social Services down here?  He travels back and forth every weekend from Lumberton (about 2 hours away).    What would you do?  Do you think his behavior calls for more intervention than a simple call to his son?  Tell me what you think. 


  1. Hello, this is orchid.
    Oh, I feel so soory for him and bit offended by his son. I am so proud of your generosity. Well, don't know what to say...
    My father is almost as old as him and he is suffering from dementia. He is in the old-people's home now.
    Well, heat IS causing bad effects especially in the Tohoku-area where Tunami and power-station disasters happened. Sure waiting for cool autumn to come.
    Thank you SO much for your lovely comments. They really heartened me.
    Hugs from far east♪♪♪

  2. Hi Glenda. That heat can be dangerous to anyone, but especially to older people. I feel really sorry for that poor man, and even sorrier that his son doesn't appear to be too bothered by it all. It's a very difficult question for us to answer, especially if this man is still living at home on his own. You just don't know what might happen if social services were called in. Is it possible that you could possibly just keep an eye on him over the next couple of weeks. If things seem to be getting worse, then perhaps you might have to make that call. I think I would feel happier if I actually spoke to the son myself first though.

  3. I understand your concern, but you don't really know what the family situation is. As we have learned with our mother, it takes a lot more than occasional disorientation for doctors to declare a person incompetent, and until doctors do make that declaration, adult children can only advise their parents, not force them to do anything. My mother would be a lot better off in a residential setting where she had 24 hour supervision, (she does have a care giver for 6 hours a day to make meals and do basic chores), but everytime it is suggested she goes totally ballistic, and refuses to consider it. Even though she has been diagnosed with dementia, the doctor is still unwilling to declare her incompetent, so my brother and I, while fully aware of her deteriorating abilities cannot legally force her out of her house.

  4. Thanks for all the comments. I ended up speaking to the man's son myself. He is concerned but doesn't feel like he has any control over him. His main concern is the fact that he travels about two hours one way to get to his beach house each weekend and he's afraid that he'll have an accident. We're only at our beach house 3 days a week, but I also found out from some of his neighbors down here that they're trying to watch his comings and goings and if he's not back when they think he should, they go out looking for him. I think all is being done for him that can be done right now and I just pray that when the time comes for him to give up driving, he will know it.

  5. That could have been an isolated situation. It deserves attention though. My husband took a nap one after noon and woke thinking he had overslept for work. He jumped up and started gettting dressed when he realized what happened. However this gentlemen was more on the confused side. Bless his heart. Got to love our seniors and look after them.
    Bless you Glenda.

  6. Call the local Adult Protective Services. They will send someone out to check on him. Normally, they will also contact a few family members to let them know what was reported in the referral. The referral source (you) is kept private so the person you call about will not be told who called, nor will the family. He could be in the early stages of Alzheimers or dementia...or he could be suffering with some dehydration issues due to the heat. Dehydration will definitely lead to confusion. Elderly folks have a tendency to forget to drink water as they should, especially in the heat. Yes, I would def. call in a referral so they can check on him. APS will also know of available resources in the community to help him if family lives too far away or is not able to assist.

  7. I don't think I'd call just yet. But, of course, I don't know him nor did I witness the incident. I think keeping an eye on his condition, at this point, is the logical thing to do. If you feel he's getting worse, then contact the son again and enlighten him. If the son is not willing to act then I think you'd have no choice but to call an agency for assistance. But, that's just my opinion.


I love to hear your comments!