Today at work an old guy came to our door. He lives across the street and he was cold and hungry.
From what I gather, he is 88, lives alone, hasn’t really got any family, and nobody is looking out for him on a regular basis. He came over because his furnace isn’t working and Meals on Wheels didn’t show up. I’m a bit skeptical about his story because from what I’m told he changed it a bit when I spoke with him — he knew I was a nurse. Maybe he was afraid that I would put him in the hospital. He told me that Meals on Wheels had come that day and he had eaten the meal, but that was not what he told the other staff.
He was wearing a zippered track-suit type jacket with a bathrobe over it. Both were grimy. He had on socks and slippers but no pants, and he was cold, so the staff brought him in and parked him in front of a space heater. He drank several cups of coffee and cocoa and devoured some peanut butter toast we made for him. He was lucid and polite and charming and had great dignity. He told me that he is always hungry.
Our hearts all broke slowly over the hour that he sat there. I had to leave work early that day but as I left a police officer showed up who was acquainted with our visitor. He was working on making some calls and I got his contact information.
I told the man that we were there 24 hours a day, he can come anytime he needs help and we will help him.
We won’t let him be cold or hungry any more.