Amazing – this happened to me last night and I posted in my Facebook group to share my story. Incredible response!
I was just on my way to 6.30pm boxing class, waiting at the T junction on Onewa Road when I saw this old lady, really, and I mean REALLY struggling, walking with her stick.
She was practically going backwards she was struggling so badly. DOZENS of cars streamed by in the rush hour.
Took me quite a while to get out of my road, over to her side of the road and pull over. Meanwhile HUNDREDS of cars streamed by in the rush hour. HUNDREDS.
She said she was going to the bookshop. She seemed very concerned about it. I held her up as the traffic screamed by, and promised to take her.
A lovely young woman with a swishy ponytail in a yellow beetle pulled over too. We managed to get the lady in the car and I said I’d pop straight her up to the bookstore which calmed her down. Lovely swishy girl followed.
Bookstore – not surprisingly at 6.30pm – closed. Asked if I could drop her home, which she said would be lovely. Except she had no idea where she lived. After a little while she gave be a road name. I googled it. It was in Epsom. How did you get here to Birkenhead I asked? No idea at all.
Hmmm. I asked if she had a phone. Which she did but it was dead as a doornail. Her name was sellotaped on the phone. “Elaine – who lives with you in Epsom honey?” My husband. Do you have his number, he might be worried about you?” Bearing in mind the phone was dead I thought this was a pretty long shot – but amazingly – SHE KNEW THE NUMBER!
Got hold of her lovely husband. Bless him. Don’t bring her to Epsom – please can you take her back to the residential home in Birkenhead. Sure thing. Elaine by this time was convinced her sweet husband would be meeting us at this place in Birkenhead she had never heard of. As we drove in – no recollection of being there before.
Once I had her safely inside I managed to find a member of staff – who was SO SPECTACULARLY UNCONCERNED about this poor sweet vulnerable lady stumbling about the neighborhood it took my breath away. I will be writing to whoever owns that residential facility in no uncertain terms. What if it had been dark? Or raining? She had no working phone + no idea where she was. She could have been gone HOURS. Overnight?
Anyway – the reason I am sharing is this:
- Call your Significant Oldsters this evening! Whether its gran/gramp/mum/dad or sweet uncle bob. CALL YOUR OLDSTERS! Check in and send them much love. I will SO be doing that tonight and feel beyond blessed I will see both my parents next weekend. That 12000 mile flight is NOTHING, nothing to how grateful I feel to be able to do it and have them hold me in their arms at the other end.
- I totally forgot about my boxing class due to the Elaine Rescue Sitch. I’m usually pretty hard on myself if I miss a wellbeing thing – but you know what – today I’m going to give myself a pass.
- I reckon at least 1000 cars must have passed her whilst she was tottering about in obvious distress. It was so wonderful to have Swishy Ponytail Girl stop and help. But really – two of us? Really? None of us are that busy – surely. If someone looks like they are in distress – you know what – they probably are! I know you good people would have stopped.
- Call your oldsters – now. Do it.
Paula Rogers You didn’t miss a “wellbeing thing” by not making it to your boxing class, you created real wellbeing by being a caring, kind, unselfish human 😀
Kristy Pala Exactly this! Well done Louise, we need more people like you in the world
Jaylene Malam What a great set of lady’s so glad you saved her, my nana was 101.5years old when she passed & in a resthome 6 months ago, Some of the homes I looked at b4 that one were so heartless lady’s u Both have big hearts Thank u for posting , don’t just wright the letter to the resthome Please send one to the health board as they should look into it as well !
Claire Bentley The elderly are so vulnerable!
Louise, you and the swishy ponytail girl are ANGELS for stopping & helping Elaine. A splash of kindness like that must of made you glow internally and totally strengthen the heart!?
Stephanie Brewer My Dad is in a resthome in manurewa and they take such good care of him and the other residents. Made me so sad to read this story 😕 that poor lady. Well done you and swishy lady x
Debs Groom Awesome post – thank you for being so switched on and ‘hands-on’ – that could have been my mum. Just reading this makes me want to pass something forward. It reminds me to keep close tabs on the care my Mama is being given in her small town residenti…See More
Suzanne Cockayne You are an amazing selfless woman and I wish there were more of you in the world! Your wellbeing class was helping Elaine. Bless you xx
Energy Coach and young Swishy Ponytail girls, you two at least made a difference tonight, blessings to you both!!
Sonya Young You are an angel. I often want to offer lifts to people at bus stops but am afraid I will frighten them. Good on you. X
Claire Reyneke Thank you for sharing! Shame on all those drivers and Name & Shame the Aged Care Facility, I say!
Amy Powles Sadly north shore police get a fair few call outs for this sort of scenario. Well done for helping elaine……and as for giving yourself a pass for missing the wellbeing appointment (boxing)…..you did do a wellbeing session…..elaines wellbeing was taken care of and in turn yours for helping others. Feels good.
Trevlyn Wyngard What a wonderful story to wake up to and read! Thank you for what you did and for sharing it. I love how you write (I want a swishy ponytail too now! wink emoticon )…. But of most importance is the point you make – of how we ought to give much more love and att…See More
Emma Bowmast A few months ago our neighbour had an elderly lady with dementia turn up we sat together with her having cups of tea for a while before the police came unfortunately neither her family not her some times care facility had any idea she was missing
Bina Cullen Louise if only there were more thoughtful people you you in the world. You are so wonderful to take time our of your day to help out someone in need.
Karyn Lowe Thank you! Wish there were more like you in the world today! The saddest part is the response of the staff looking after her, unfortunately they are probably over worked and underpaid and the poor residents don’t have a voice. Having had a parent in care is really hard when you can’t be there 24/7. Please do write to that facility and have a fab time with your parents.
Kelly Austin This makes me so sad, lucky you two lovely ladies stopped! Yet another reason I have been considering studying aged care….there are too many so-called ‘carers’ that just don’t seem to be fit to do the job and lack empathy caring for the elderly.
Carolyn Bodlovich she was very lucky you were there and actually stopped!! well done Louise
Louise Claris That is why you are who you are and so moved to read your story. Enjoy being hugged by your parents
Kieley Rae Hmmmm I live very very close to a care facility on the North Shore that seem to lose people on a regular basis. I am hoping there will be a report done on them due to a recent publicised missing person. Seem a bit bloody useless to me
Natalie Oborne Disgusting that the staff were unaware of her disappearance. Poor lady you did fantastic investigating to locate her residence
Alexia Santamaria Oh god, this is so sad. Sad no one cared. Sad she didn’t recognise the place she lived in, sad the staff were unconcerned. Makes me want to cry to think this is how our society treats the elderly. Good on you for stopping sweet xx
Melanie Cooper what a lovely gesture. then to unravel the dilemma. this story reminds me of the sick fish in the bank smile emoticon much love in return x
Jess Mc Wow that’s so good of you to stop!! How shocking that they didn’t care she had gone missing!
Dawn Elliott Thank you for taking care of one of our precious oldsters, it’s what we all must do
Alison Parr This could be anyone of us. Thank you for caring
Natalie Sharp Oh my God that’s heartbreaking! Thank goodness for you – what a sad, sad indictment on society… Poor thing 😟
Tina Toons Same thing happened to me in titirangi but many people stopped by and wanted to help:)
Helen Smith woops that care facility needs to be held accountable
Helen Smith What an awesome thing to do. Yes that care facility owner needs to
Marie Therese Griffiths That made me cry. Especially when they were unconcerned when you took Elaine back . I am fortunate to see my parents every day but this made me think about the other oldsters in my life. Thanks for being amazing and so caring.
Nikz Rehutai so sad how the aged are sometimes treated or ignored frown emoticon you are wonderful…thank you. lovely to know there are kind caring people like you out there….PS you didn’t miss wellbeing…this is it x
Alison Tuionetoa There needs to be a name and shame culture with rest homes as sometimes the ‘business’ is the focus and neglect totally unacceptable. We have had dealings with 2 places in this area and I regret not taking more action to ensure the unacceptable behaviour is known for people to make more informed decisions as to where they put their loved ones! Well done you!
Janis Cooper Pity there are not more people in the world like you two ladies – wouldn’t it be a much more wonderful place if everyone could be as kind and considerate as you.