Takeaways

Dearie

Continue to be kind, help with small tasks that are manageable for you.  Recognize that there is only so much you, as a neighbor, can do.

Barbara

My suggestion is that you address the issue gently – “I’ve noticed that…”  “It seems like it’s getting worse or more frequent….”  “Has anything in fact happened to make it so worrisome?”  Raise it once, let her know that you are concerned because episodes are more frequent and intense and suggest that she may want to get some professional help.  I suspect that the stress of caregiving or possibly an underlying long-standing mental health issue is at play.  Be clear for yourself about how much you want to get involved.

It might be worthwhile suggesting that your neighbor would benefit from getting respite care in order to give her a break from caregiving for her husband.  A good starting point for finding respite care resources is your local Area Agency on Aging (Triple A) through their Senior Information and Assistance program.  Check with your local or county government office to contact your Triple A.

The University of Texas at Austin has a website page at their Center for Identity on Top Threats and Responses for Older Adults. Find it by clicking here