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  1. #1
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    Default What to do for elderly neighbour whose husband passed away

    My elderly neighbour's husband past away today. She is incredibly self sufficient, cooks, cleans, looks after her grandchildren afterschool etc. she has a huge Italian family, and massive church and community network who I imagine will be checking in on her and supporting her. I just want to acknowledge the loss of her lifelong partner and help out where I can (during his illness I often drove her to the train station or hospital to see appointments etc, but I'm not involved in her family/community outreach). She doesn't need meals or cakes, she cooks all day long, flowers seem a little trifle for her in comparison to her beautiful Italian garden... Any suggestions?

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    Maybe a voucher for a garden centre so she can buy a tree for him.

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    That's really thoughtful of you. Maybe instead of flowers you could get her a potted plant that she could plant in her garden in memory of her husband. It's a difficult one but I'm sure any gesture would be appreciated, it's the thought that counts.

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    I would give her a gift of your time and thoughts. Drop in regularly (once or twice a week) to sit and have a cuppa and a chat and make sure there's nothing she needs. The most important thing though is to continue to do this long term; after the acute grief stage is over, support will wane; she needs to know she is still thought of. It's very very hard for elderly to adjust to living without their lifelong partner, hence why just being there to check on her is invaluable.

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    OP, does she have your phone number? I have an elderly widow friend who has my number as I want her to know that if she is ever spooked/frightened or needs help, that I am there for her. Even though you say she has a good family support network etc, the fact that you're so close/nearby is a bonus, so if she has your number she can call you if need be.

    It's so thoughtful that you're wanting to help her.

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    Genuine company and friendship. That is all. To know she has someone to call in the middle of the night if she gets spooked, or someone who will hear her calls for help if she falls, or someone to bring her a cup of tea or coffee at the lonely times or pick a paper up for her at the shops.

    To know someone cares enough to do any of that is gift enough, I'm sure.

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    SpecialPatrolGroup is offline T-rex is cranky until she gets her coffee.
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    I think that dropping in and giving her your phone number and a sincere offer of a cup of tea any time she feels like popping over or if you are going to the shops ask if you can pick up anything for her etc.


 

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