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What would you have done?

climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
My 93 year old grandma broke her hip yesterday, and the circumstances surrounding it have me furious. I'm so angry I could barely sleep last night. 

So, she went to the grocery store yesterday. It had snowed Sunday into Monday, so the parking was probably somewhat snow and ice covered. Why she even went out is beyond me - she didn't need food and she told my mother she was staying home. But that's neither here nor there. 

Right when she was done loading her groceries, she fell hard. A woman saw her fall, and came over. My grandma told the woman and another man that she was fine. Even though her fucking hip was broken and she couldn't even STAND. 

These people loaded my grandma into her car. They didn't call an ambulance. Just hoisted her into her car and sent her on her way. My grandma drove home (about 2 miles) and put her gar in her garage. She then crawled backwards up her stairs. With a broken hip. She couldn't get back up once she got inside, and she forgot that she was wearing her Life Alert. My mom was calling and calling, and she knew something was wrong. So she called my grandma's neighbor and he found her on the floor. He then called an ambulance.

My grandma is the toughest lady ever. I think it's the Italian blood ;-) But when she told the doctors her pain was a 10, it fucking killed me. To think of her in that much for so long has me sick to my stomach. 

So, please tell me. If you saw an older woman fall very hard in a parking lot, would you have called an aumbulance? Or would you have picked her up off the ground and put her in her car? Because that's fucking INSANE to me. 

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Re: What would you have done?

  • Ugh. Absolutely not. Depending on how insistent the person was that she was "fine," I'd either stay with them until they COULD stand, then if she still couldn't, call a family member, and wait for them to come, or call an ambulance.

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  • I'm sorry that happened to your grandmother.

    If it was me I would have taken her myself and I'll tell you why. My Mom and I are both teachers. We've always had amazing insurance. When I saw a girl in a bar bathroom that CLEARLY had alcohol poisoning I asked the bartender to call an ambulance. Other bartenders, random customers, bouncers were VERY hesitant in case the girl "didn't have insurance". Certain ambulance rides can cost more than 2k if you don't have insurance- like a friend of mine without insurance who was basically forced into an ambulance for a sprained ankle. Not saying these people did the right thing though.

     

    I feel your pain and I'm glad your grandma is okay now.



  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    She's got a long road ahead of her. She has a-fib and is on blood thinners, so her surgery might not even be happening today. They might have to wait a few extra days. Which sucks. And then she'll have to be in a rehab center. And honestly, the fact that she's 93 and going into surgery scares the fuck out of me. 

    madamerwin
  • Absolutely I would have called for help. If she wasn't able to physically stand, she needed help. 

    My grandmother discovered she has heart issues after passing out behind the wheel. She hit another vehicle head on. I am so thankful that other driver was compassionate with her and cared more to get her the medical help she needed rather than deal with the car damage that moment. 

    Not living near her, I am always thankful to hear of kind people helping her in even little ways. 

    I understand your fury about this. I hope Grandma Climbing is feeling better soon! 
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  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would, but then I'm a nursing student and also certified in CPR/first aid and stuff : / A lot of people don't realize how easy it is for someone to break their hip, and don't realize how serious it is and that medical personnel should be the ones to move her.  She said she was fine- if they did offer to call an ambulance, would she have accepted?  Probably not, and most people only want to interfere so much. 

    H's grandma is similar. She's 98 years old and broke her hip a few years ago, going down the steps from the garage.  She dragged herself to the phone.  Tough lady!

    I know what you mean though.  Once I got stuck at McDonald's with an elderly, mentally disabled client in a wheelchair because the damn lift wouldn't go all the way down in the snow.  I was out there in -40 degree weather obviously fighting with this thing and trying to keep an eye on my client that I'd left inside and people were watching me but no offer to help when I was struggling with this thing for 20 minutes.  I finally called H who lived nearby to come help me.  Most of the time going around people are overly helpful, opening doors for me and stuff, but when I actually do really need help people just watch.  Grr. 
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  • beetherybeethery So sayeth the fuckin' Pope. member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Old peeps' bones are typically kinda fragile. I would've called 911 right away.
    --

    I'm the fuck out.

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    plainjane0415ashley8918
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Oh no!!! That makes me so sad! If she had sprung back up (and was 20 years younger) then I wouldn't have called an ambuance. But when someone clearly can't stand and is that old, wow I would have called. My grandma (85) fell and broke her wrist on new years and the thought of her in pain made me sick. I wish her surgery goes well and she recovers well!

                                                                     

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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
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    It would depend entirely upon what the lady told me, frankly. If she said she was hurting as badly as your grandmother was, then absolutely. But if she is telling me she's fine, then - as a non-medical person, and an unknown person to her - no, I probably would not call her an ambulance.

    Would I send her on her merry way? In that circumstance, absolutely not. But if she's telling me she's fine, I can't really force an ambulance onto her if she is telling me she doesn't need or want one. I'd probably ask her to call someone she knows to come get her, because she's more likely to be honest with them, and wait with her until that person arrived.

    The other alternative is these people leaving your grandmother in the snow. They probably did the best thing they could think of, based on your grandmother's statements. You know?

    But these people KNEW she couldn't stand. It's not like they lifted her up and she got into the car on her own. She couldn't even walk. Just the fact that they pulled her up is angering me. She's in her 90s and frail.She's 5 feet tall and 100 pounds. 

  • Sorry to hear about your grandma. I'm another vote, though, for probably not calling an ambulance. If a person tells me they don't want me to intervene - especially when it costs money - who am I to ignore them and do it anyways?

  • She's got a long road ahead of her. She has a-fib and is on blood thinners, so her surgery might not even be happening today. They might have to wait a few extra days. Which sucks. And then she'll have to be in a rehab center. And honestly, the fact that she's 93 and going into surgery scares the fuck out of me. 

    Hey my grandpa had quadruple bypass surgery at 90 and he came out fine. It will be ok! She sounds tough as hell, and I'm sure she'll be in good hands. 

    I'm so sorry this happened to your grandma. I agree with lolo. It's a tough situation for the bystanders because they can't FORCE a random, independent person with freewill to get into an ambulance. If she kept insisting she was fine and just wanted to go home, they had to take her at her word. I kind of see it as a fine line between trying to be helpful and crossing boundaries. But, as I said, I agree with lolo and would have stayed with her just to be sure she was able to stand, or I would have insisted on calling one of her family members just to make sure she wouldn't be alone (like how it ended up). 
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  • hellosweetie1015hellosweetie1015 Where the skies are so blue member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    It would depend entirely upon what the lady told me, frankly. If she said she was hurting as badly as your grandmother was, then absolutely. But if she is telling me she's fine, then - as a non-medical person, and an unknown person to her - no, I probably would not call her an ambulance.

    Would I send her on her merry way? In that circumstance, absolutely not. But if she's telling me she's fine, I can't really force an ambulance onto her if she is telling me she doesn't need or want one. I'd probably ask her to call someone she knows to come get her, because she's more likely to be honest with them, and wait with her until that person arrived.

    The other alternative is these people leaving your grandmother in the snow. They probably did the best thing they could think of, based on your grandmother's statements. You know?

    But these people KNEW she couldn't stand. It's not like they lifted her up and she got into the car on her own. She couldn't even walk. Just the fact that they pulled her up is angering me. She's in her 90s and frail.She's 5 feet tall and 100 pounds. 
    I am certainly not saying they did the best thing. But I just don't think I've got the right to call an ambulance for someone I do not know and who is telling me she is fine. In that circumstance, I would have her call a person who DOES have that right, I would get her out of the snow, and I would wait with her until that person arrived. (I do know that you aren't supposed to move someone, but I could not leave a person - especially an elderly person - in the snow in a parking lot. I just couldn't.)

    I really am very sorry about your grandmother, and I hope she has as easy and speedy a recovery as can be had. And you have every right to be furious with those people, because you feel (and I do agree) that they didn't do the best thing for her. I just can see why they chose not to call an ambulance.
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    climbingwifeMaggie0829emmaaafwtx5815
  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
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    yikes! I know I have fallen now TWICE on my driveway in the past few days and it sucks. This ice needs to MELT.

    Your grandma sounds like mine- tough and stubborn. Sometimes, dealing with tough and stubborn old ladies (as an outsider) is really challenging. I would have probably offered to call an ambulance, and if refused, at the very least would've offered to call a family member and sat with her until said family member arrived.

    Sometimes, you can't reason with people like her (and I mean this in a loving way, not a "she is crazy!" way)- my dad is the same way. He would rather anything than taking help from strangers in a parking lot (it is worth noting that my dad has bone cancer and has somewhat brittle hips) and he would've done precisely what your grandma did.

    I think, as the bystander, you have to realize they are probably in pain and embarrassed and a bit flustered. I would respect their wishes as much as I felt was safe for them but I would not have let your grandma drive home after falling like that. I would have either driven her home from the store myself, or taken her to a hospital if there was nobody else to help her.

    I hope she recovers well!
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    climbingwife
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
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    sarahufl said:

    yikes! I know I have fallen now TWICE on my driveway in the past few days and it sucks. This ice needs to MELT.

    Your grandma sounds like mine- tough and stubborn. Sometimes, dealing with tough and stubborn old ladies (as an outsider) is really challenging. I would have probably offered to call an ambulance, and if refused, at the very least would've offered to call a family member and sat with her until said family member arrived.

    Sometimes, you can't reason with people like her (and I mean this in a loving way, not a "she is crazy!" way)- my dad is the same way. He would rather anything than taking help from strangers in a parking lot (it is worth noting that my dad has bone cancer and has somewhat brittle hips) and he would've done precisely what your grandma did.

    I think, as the bystander, you have to realize they are probably in pain and embarrassed and a bit flustered. I would respect their wishes as much as I felt was safe for them but I would not have let your grandma drive home after falling like that. I would have either driven her home from the store myself, or taken her to a hospital if there was nobody else to help her.

    I hope she recovers well!

    This is very true. She is quite stubborn. There's a reason she has lived alone up until this point. 

    ohannabelle
  • ashley8918ashley8918 Chicago Suburbs member
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    ALWAYS CALL FOR AN AMBULANCE. Those people were idiots.
    climbingwife
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
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    So sorry to hear about your grandma! I definitely would have called for help given that it sounds like she couldn't even get up/walk on her own!

    Formerly martha1818

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  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm so sorry about your grandma!

    I agree with others who have said you don't know how people will react in a crisis. I tend to freeze. Examples: 1) Saw a clearly homeless and "ill" older man stumbling in the street, and he fell. I went over to help, with other bystanders ignoring him, and he brushed me away and stumbled on his way. 2) Nearly the same issue, younger man, I was on the bus observing. Tons of bystanders, heavy traffic- I called 911. 3) Car accident across from my house out in the country. I could only call 911- couldn't bring myself to approach the car, but other drivers did stop and help those in the accident until the ambulance arrived.  All these situations had my heart racing and I felt very scared and shaken.

    I'm not a nurse. I've noticed people in distress when luckily I've been in the company of my MIL, who is a nurse- she's gone to the distressed people to check on them. I'm not qualified. 

    If a complete stranger I try to offer assistance to told me they were fine, I would have believed them. Not everyone can handle emergencies, even with the best of intentions. This is why some people are called to certain professions and others aren't. We're not programmed the same way. 
    ________________________________


  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
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    I guess if I witnessed someone fall and they literally were not able to stand up, I would consider that serious enough to call an ambulance. 

    ashley8918KatieinBklnwrigleyville
  • ashley8918ashley8918 Chicago Suburbs member
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    I guess if I witnessed someone fall and they literally were not able to stand up, I would consider that serious enough to call an ambulance. 

    Agreed. 
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    I guess if I witnessed someone fall and they literally were not able to stand up, I would consider that serious enough to call an ambulance. 

    Okay well that is what you would have done.  That is not what these people did because they chose to believe your Grandmother and her telling them that she was fine and did not want an ambulance to be called.  This does not make them horrible people.  They helped they best way the felt they could in the current situation.

    Now it is time to let go of your irritation with these people and just focus on your Grandmother.

  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
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    If she can't stand up, then yup an ambulance is getting called.  Fuck, the other year I fell hard on the ice and was having difficulty getting up because it hurt like hell and a dude who saw me pulled his car over, told me not to get up, and called an ambulance and for someone to fill in for me at work.  Other people stopped and got me blankets and stuff while we were waiting for the ambulance.  I was saying that I was probably fine and if people looked at me they'd probably assume my health was a-ok, but if frigged up my back and luckily I didn't break anything, but I had to go to physio and my hip still bugs me when the weather is muggy.
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  • ashley8918ashley8918 Chicago Suburbs member
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    I guess if I witnessed someone fall and they literally were not able to stand up, I would consider that serious enough to call an ambulance. 

    Okay well that is what you would have done.  That is not what these people did because they chose to believe your Grandmother and her telling them that she was fine and did not want an ambulance to be called.  This does not make them horrible people.  They helped they best way the felt they could in the current situation.

    Now it is time to let go of your irritation with these people and just focus on your Grandmother.
    I would absolutely believe someone who said they were okay and didn't need an ambulance... Until they couldn't even stand up. Then all bets are off, you are getting an ambulance, or you are calling someone to come get you. No way in hell I am just loading your ass in the car to drive away.

    I mean, it's not like she just needed help to stand up. She couldn't stand at all.
    climbingwife
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
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    Yeah, guys. Her hip was completely shattered. She could not stand. This is not a case where they lifted her up and she walked and say, "Thank you, I'm OK." They lifted her up, she said she couldn't stand, and they literally lifted her into her car. She couldn't stand, let alone walk. 

    ashley8918
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    Yeah, guys. Her hip was completely shattered. She could not stand. This is not a case where they lifted her up and she walked and say, "Thank you, I'm OK." They lifted her up, she said she couldn't stand, and they literally lifted her into her car. She couldn't stand, let alone walk. 

    Alright, fine.  Then yes they should have called an ambulance.  But what is done is done.  Now it is time to focus on your Grandmother and help her to get better rather then focusing on some strangers who, in their eyes, did the best that they could.

    Viczaesar
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
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    I'm with Maggie on this.  Most likely the people who saw your grandma fall thought it would be better for her to be up and sitting in a warm car than on the ground in the cold.  If grandma kept insisting she was fine, I would have tended to believe her as well.

    I think larry has a good point that older people tend to not want to accept help because that tells other people that they are getting too old to do everything themselves.  No one wants to lose their independance.

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