Miss D’s mental state has deteriorated for over 5 years. Another neighbor and I were in contact with her family through the years to voice our concern. She has a son and a granddaughter. She also has a nephew she raised, but Miss D said she hadn’t seen him in a long time.
I spent a good amount of time with Miss D that first week.
I sat with her while she ate her take-out dinner in her apartment. She had lost weight in the past year. I looked into her shower and it looked dirty like she doesn’t use it. There is a cushion sponge on the floor of her tub. She told me she takes showers everyday, but she had worn the same clothes for days and they looked soiled. I asked her how she did laundry. She told me she takes it up to the Chinese laundry and they do it. She uses her cart, but the cart in the hallway was packed with 5 grocery bags full of empty soda cans. I asked her if someone comes to recycle for her. She was unclear what happens. I told her unless she needs the money, we can take the cans to the basement, the building will recycle them. She said that would be great, she didn’t know. I took the bags of cans to the basement and put them in the recycling bin.
It was time to get help for Miss D. I didn’t feel comfortable calling the family leaving it in their hands after what I saw.