Unpleasant elderly neighbour - help please

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Unpleasant Neighbour
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Unpleasant elderly neighbour - help please

Postby Unpleasant Neighbour » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:12 am

Hello Everyone
I'm writing this under a different name for obvious reasons.

We have an elderly neighbour who is in need.

He had an accident at home a few weeks ago (he had  a fall and was found in his living room after two days by a postman who realised he hadn't seen him for a few days).

He does have family in another part of London but they seem to have little to do with him and I don't think they actually like him. They rarely seem to visit and the rest of his family live in Ireland and actually asked him to leave early when he last visited.

So far this seems like a pretty standard story of an old person in need and we should be good neighbours but the real issue is that he's not a very nice person.

He has pretty extreme racist views and will take every opportunity to tell anyone who'll listen. Once he's in the house he'll settle at the kitchen table, refuse to move and spout racist rubbish to anyone who is around, including the our children!

However I can't ignore the fact that he almost died.

Does anyone have any advice as to how to cope with this? Would social services get involved? To be blunt I don't want him in my house chatting to the children but there seems to be almost no way to engage with him without him then grabbing that attention (which is sad in itself) and then turning up for a cup of tea unannounced and then not leaving for hours.

On the one hand I feel I should just go with it but on the other I can't have him sat at the table telling my children (and this is almost a direct quote) "when I was a lad all the doctors and nurses were white and you could actually understand what they were saying, not like now."

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Re: Unpleasant elderly neighbour - help please

Postby chorister » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:51 am

I think you must try to get help.  I believe Age UK has an advice line, so that may be a good place to start.

The stuff about his views is very difficult, especially if you have small children, but no one is all bad.  I knew someone in a psychiatric hospital who solemnly told the wonderful, kind black nurses that they were children of the devil.  They laughed and continued to provide gentle considerate care.  The person concerned was absolutely mortified to recall it on discharge.

Try to think of him as an individual with heaven knows what history and backstory, and, if he could not get help for two days, possibly some sort of mental impairment.  Your children will - and depending on their ages may already have - encountered racism.  The only way it will ever get stamped out is through understanding and dialogue, so it may actually be an opportunity for you to teach them something.  And by now probably your children have been treated by nurses and doctors who are not white, so they may take it with a pinch of salt anyway.

And if all else fails, imagine how you will feel and what you will say to your children if you do nothing and he does die.

Good luck.
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Re: Unpleasant elderly neighbour - help please

Postby TAP » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:04 am

Your options are to contact wandsworth adult social care services and raise a safeguarding concern. Under the Care Act 2014, they are duty bound to follow up these type of concerns. They will contact family and be able to assess mental capacity; whether the gentleman can make decisions for himself or if a best interest decision for care and support needs to be made. If he is found to have mental capacity he can chose to live how he likes refusing or accepting care and support if he is eligable. The previous reply was right- Age Uk can offer a befriending service but social care services are also duty bound to provide info for this and other services. Other than that previous reply is right- you can try and respect his life and veer the conversation away. Once you’ve satisfied your safeguarding concerns with social services you have done what you can!
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Re: Unpleasant elderly neighbour - help please

Postby Ames36 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:25 am

Contact adult social services and they will alert the falls prevention team - they are a multi disciplinary team of physios, doctors and OTs that work with people having falls. It is really important that you do something but you don’t have to be personally involved.

Good luck

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Re: Unpleasant elderly neighbour - help please

Postby Spenner » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:30 am

You sound lovely for trying to help! He does sound terribly lonely (as well as awful) and I'm sure he's miserable about how his life has turned out. And it may be that rather than being a straightforward racist, he was trying to convey that he can't ask for help or understand the advice he's given by healthcare professionals, which is also isolating and frustrating.

You are under no obligation, though, to make up for what his family are not doing. You are obviously worried about him but you can set boundaries for how much interaction you need to have with him. Can you have him round for a cup of tea when your children are not there, so you don't need to worry about what he says? Then make it clear that you're going out in an hour, non-negotiably, so you are setting the terms of how long he has in your home. If you are really nice you could have made some meals for him and say 'I'll put these in your fridge/freezer on my way' so he has to go to let you into his house! Then you can leave him there. At the moment he is taking advantage of your kindness and politeness, possibly out of desperation, but it's much too hard on you. If he has more support from other agencies, he may be less needy.
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Re: Unpleasant elderly neighbour - help please

Postby Beancounter » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:53 am

If he wasn’t old and hadn’t fallen you wouldn’t have anything to do with him because he has an unpleasant personality. I’ve had dealings with a lot of old folk and some of them think because they are old they can say what they like and people let them get away with it. My own mother tried that one but had shot herself in the foot some years earlier by telling us she didn’t want to be treated like an old person so we didn’t and she remained civilised.
Also, there is apparently a hormone that stops us being horrible and if you’re immobile it doesn’t get to your brain.

So tell him you’re happy for him to come round for a cuppa but you don’t want to listen to racist views. It’s then his choice as to whether or not he modifies his behaviour and takes the consequences. Just because he’s old doesn’t mean he’s not responsible for making himself acceptable to society.

You’re a very nice person for worrying about him. His family have plainly had enough.