Old neighbour and friend but he needs help

I hate this man often but also he’s my friend. A stubborn ex gym teacher. 86 year old. Still thinks he’s in charge etc but because of that he’s basically pushed away his children from 4 Marriages I think.
Older children have had enough of him. Younger just can’t be bothered.
I as a caring person and ex fireman fins it difficult to visit also.
He has money and 3 or more properties in several countries.
I get the impression that the children are just waiting for the payout.

Can anyone help with law stuff? The social services came round last year bur he convinced them he was OK but they don’t have to empty his night bucket full of…
I’m not a carer. Just caring ex firefighter. I cleaned up and helped but not the same person everyday at the same time.
He’s a stubborn b-#(#(
Can anyone find a contact I can report the children for something??
I’ve seen but don’t understand a law in France, 2004 code 207,
Help! Thanks x

Might be worth sending a message to @Guillaume_Barlet-Bat who is the resident legal expert on here. I’m sure he will be able to point you in the right direction.

You are clearly a kind-hearted person but your neighbour is not your responsibility. I suggest trying to contact his GP who may be able to arrange for nurses to come in every morning to help him with washing and toilet stuff.

Best of luck getting this sorted out.

You could have a quiet word at your Mairie. There will be someone there who is involved with the elderly/infirm… or they can pass the details on to whomever needs to know.

It is very good of you to keep soldiering on …on his behalf… :relaxed:

Thank you.

I’ll explore the Web site but he already has GP visits via an ex.

She is the only one I trust a bit.

Whats the reason for needing law stuff? I can’t see anything illegal in what you have described. What could you report his children for? He already has social care. Its admirable to look after and care for an elderly vulnerable person as you describe. I have to say there’s something about this that makes me feel slightly uneasy…I just can’t put my finger on it yet.

For reference:

If anyone has concerns about a neighbour…or whoever… the Mairie is the place to go. Everything is handled with great discretion… and in accordance with strict guidelines.

Whilst you are obviously a caring person, there are some people who just cannot be helped. Someone who , to all extent and purposes from your description, has managed to alienate all his family and refuses help from social services seems to be one of these people.
I cannot understand why you want to involve the law against his family.
The immediate family only become involved if someone cannot afford to pay for their care and you say this man is not without means.
I feel he is taking advantage of your kindness, but whilst you are being a good neighbour, looking after his personal care is really not your responsibility.



Michael… I urge you to chat with the Mairie…at least to make the position of your neighbour … very clear.

As Jane says, he is not your responsibility… but I can understand you wanting to help him, if you can.

If something happens and you have said nothing… folk might well wonder why you kept quiet… and blame you in some way… for not doing the right thing. So go… and ask to speak to someone in confidence. (Make a note of who you speak with and what is said about the neighbour…then you will have done your best.)


It’s a fair bet that the Mairie and social services are fully aware of this situation, and of your own involvement, but their hands are tied. They can’t over-ride his determination to be left alone, even if he lives in filth and doesn’t eat or drink. He is of sound mind and a free agent. Dignity doesn’t come into it. It’s a matter of his human rights beung sovereign.

Such situations are by no means rare.

I agree that you should let the Mairie know, and if you are unwilling to continue emptying his slops you must say so. You don’t have to be unkind about doing so, just firm. He probably won’t be bothered. His attitude could be “if he wants to put himself out, that’s up to him”. If he resents it or misses you, he knows where to go for help.

Come to terms with your sympathy, it is probably misplaced any way. His chickens are coming home to roost. And let the Mairie know where you stand. They will respect your decision and no-one will blame you. Local people always know how many beans make five.


I recall one elderly gent, who was furious to find pompiers in his home, when he came out of whatever malaise had caused him lose consciousness and fall, blocking the door… :unamused: he refused to go to hospital and made everyone leave… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

He was a well-educated man, who was used to being the boss and barking orders. His home was his castle and it was his choice to let it fall into ruin around him… as well as the precarious lifestyle in which he lived. Only his sister was allowed to help, by providing meals… everyone else had to stay outside.

(The Mairie were aware and it was they who had called the pompiers when the sister could not gain access…)

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Neither do you, if you don’t want to.
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. In a way you aren’t helping him by assisting him in putting off the moment when he has to swallow his pride and face up to the fact that he needs help. He needs a permanent solution and if you’re not prepared to be it, and his chldren aren’t either, then I think you would be a better friend by being firm, saying you can’t keep doing this for him and urging him to get help from the proper channels. You can’t take the decision out of his hands, he has to make it. If his pride and stubbornness is more important to him than a decent life, it’s sad but you shouldn’t try and take away a person’s dignity, whatever they perceive it to be.


Thanks for replying. Your words are mainly what I’d tell myself but I can’t help loving the stupid old…

I built him a toilet and rails to get there but he no longer uses it.

I can’t leave him like that because I love his dogs even more. 4 Cotton de Tulear.

I would let him rot sometimes if it wasn’t for the dogs and I wouldn’t let the SPA take them away from him or me.

Anyone know of any charities or anything? He doesn’t need money but maybe they could get the authorities to do something including that law from 2004 that enforces children to look after the parents.

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Chris, it’s the law in France since 2004 that people must look after elderly parents. Check out why.

Michael… I think you are missing the very important point…that there is Care for everyone who wishes it… BUT… there are correct routes/procedures to be followed… and, in the end, each person has the Right to refuse to ask for and/or accept Care…from whatever source.

You do not have a Right to interfere in his life… in any way… and you do not have the Right to judge his family.

The Right that you do have… is to show concern… by mentioning the situation, confidentially, to the Mairie.

Solid advice and needed. Thanks everyone.

The advice about the Marié is great if you live in a small community but hard for me on the outskirts of Nimes. It’s too big. That’s why I need a charity or something to get things moving.

I understand your point about human rights but after thousands died the law changed.
He’s a child in an old man’s body.

Michael… if you are now saying that he is mentally incompetent… even more reason to go to the Mairie. Large or small… Mairies handle the same legal stuff…

Perhaps the local Gendarmes would be easier for you to talk with… a private conversation there will soon ease your mind… if you are unable to travel to Nîmes. The Gendarmes will be able to give you best advice… although whether you choose to take it… will be up to you. :thinking:

Not in this case. You state he is a man of means, his ex is still in some form of contact re the doctor and he doesn’t need the money. Three significant points. You have now posted and expanded on your philanthropy by stating how much you care for his dogs, it could even be interpreted that you care more for the dogs than him. For someone so involved and with awareness of a proposed law, I find it strange that you don’t appear to know where basic elderly person and animal welfare can be engaged with. I feel more uneasy now, though I think I know why.

That’s odd. Why?

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