Sunday, February 01, 2009

Trouble comes knocking

I got home from church and was on the computer for a few minutes when I heard a persistent pounding.

I went to the front door -- no one was there, but I looked to my left and an old woman was beating on the front bedroom window. She was standing out there with nothing on but a nightgown so I ran down to her to ask her if she needed help.

Bare feet, bone thin. Her hair was just a tangled mess and she had a huge bruise all around her left eye.

I wrapped my arms around her and helped her shuffle into my house to get her warm. The police came to my door before I even had a chance to get back to my bedroom to get her a robe and some slippers. A woman officer came in first and I ran to get the robe and slippers. Then she needed to go to the bathroom, so I got her back there to let her go. Then we put her on the couch and wrapped her up in a couple of throws.

A man officer came shortly after that, and then the woman's daughter showed up and was just ugly -- saying that her mother was spoiled and mad that she hadn't gotten her way and so now she is going to a home.

I told the daughter we were going to talk to her mother for a while so she could just leave. The officers just looked at her like "you heard her."

A third officer came also. He spent some time down at the daughter's house and then came to talk to the other two officers. Kristina, the old woman, stayed with me and I just held her and hugged her and rocked her and patted her and tried to get her warmed up.

I talked to her to get her talking. She is 86, about to turn 87 later this month. She has some confusion but there were some things she was able to tell me that were clear.

The officers spent a considerable amount of time down at the daughter's house, which is two houses south of me. Apparently they agree with me that the situation down there stinks to high heaven, so they will have Adult Protective Services check things out in the morning. They did, however, interview the daughter enough to feel confident the woman will be safe there until APS comes.

The daughter's story is that the woman fell in the bathroom a couple of days ago and that's how she got the eye bruise -- she fell into a doorknob.The male officer seems to give some credence to her story.

The woman is bone-thin. Even through the robe I could feel her backbone. I would be surprised if she weighed 90 pounds. And she had to go to the bathroom again before she left. Hate to be gross about it, but there was nothing in the toilet either time, which indicates she has not eaten recently. The officer said her daughter told them she was on a medication she started today that gives her diarrhea.

I gave both of the officers my card. Funniest thing was Kristine said "I don't want this in the paper" when we were putting her on the couch. I told her I could promise her that, then I turned to the woman officer explained who I am.

Kristine was probably here an hour and a half or so and was still bone-cold when they walked her back home.

I am so upset but I know that if APS can get her placed somewhere in either assisted living or a care home things will be better for her. Her daughter is not capable of being her caretaker at this point -- and if she didn't punch her this time, I know she will.

And I will state that I don't believe the doorknob story. If that woman didn't punch her mother, I'm a monkey's uncle.

4 comments:

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh my goodness. That is scary and sad. I hope APS can so help her.

deedee said...

Please post a follow up on your neighbor. I'd like to know if everything is ok? Dee Dee

Trixie said...

I don't know that I'll ever get an update. Once APS is involved it becomes confidential. If it was just a police matter, I would be able to find out anything and everything. I just pray for her and I can't get her out of my mind. Especially when I saw the police report the next day -- the daughter didn't even know what her mother was wearing. She gave a bad description to the police. It seems she left the house not only ill dressed, but without her walker. It's amazing this 86-year-old woman was able to walk barefoot from her house to mine.

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