Another update on the old man

In case you haven’t been following up on this story check [this post] and [this post]. Last night I passed by the store with @neatkw since they offered to help tidy up the old man’s store. Yesterday was the first time I actually got to see the store properly from behind the counter and also upstairs and I am at loss for words. The place needs a lot more than just tidying.

Originally I thought that the old man was sleeping in his studio upstairs but when I went up I realized there was no bed and there was no studio. The top floor was just full of random junk, garbage, dust and even an old fridge that was over 40 years old. From what we could gather from the old man, he was sleeping on his chair on the ground floor of the store. The whole shop is just covered with a very thick layer of dust, there is barely enough room to walk and just two chairs to sit in. While trying to talk to the old man he casually pulled out a bunch of crisp 1/4 dinar notes dating back to the pre-1990 invasion like he just popped out of a time machine. He then proceeded to rip the notes up because he said they were illegal and he didn’t want to get arrested. Randomly all over the store are black and white photos probably dating to the 60s covering random events in Kuwait like sports, fires and even a flood. Communicating with the old man is difficult, he doesn’t have a timeline and he forgets a lot. You can’t tell if an incident that happened to him took place last week or took place 20 years ago.

So this is what’s happening now. The two kind ladies from @neatkw are going to try and find his sponsor and get more details off him. Then based on that conversation figure out what to do next. I personally think the old man needs proper care, somewhere like an old people’s home. He needs people around him to talk to and he needs someone to take care of him. If that doesn’t work out the idea is to make his store (which isn’t really a store right now just an indoor junkyard) more comfortable for him like replacing the old broken down film developer with a bed and clearing out all the garbage and adding other amenities like a proper bathroom.

14 replies on “Another update on the old man”

MARK ! your a good man !!
since he has all old stuff , probably have some antiques or old pictures with value that can get him sorted

He doesn’t have anything of value but the issue isn’t helping him financially. I think someone already is, maybe his sponsor is giving him a salary. The issue is he’s living in a horrible environment and he most likely has some memory problems and needs care.

Question Mark, what you and your friends are doing…Is this what he wants, or is this what you want for him?

I’m not belittling your effort to help out this person, I’m just thinking out aloud!

your question is legit and one that I’ve asked myself and I don’t know the answer really.

Can the old man make decisions? I don’t think he is in a state capable of doing so but I am not qualified to state that. He has difficulty remembering events and difficulty with time. He is living in a store with no space to walk surrounded by junk and dust. His bathroom isn’t a bathroom but an unsanitary space underneath the stairs and he sleeps on a chair.

I am also not taking any decision by myself and don’t want to take any decision by myself which is why I constantly post updates on the blog. I get a lot of advice and feedback from the comments and emails and that helps a lot. He has no family and doesn’t seem to have any friends so end of the day it’s all about what’s best for him.

I was thinking the same thing. Your heart is in the right place, but older people like to live in the routine they’ve known for years.

I feel all these changes will distress the poor guy. </3

Does he have any family?

Mark, the fact that you’re bringing attention to this man and his current situation is truly admirable. Not many people would have thought twice about him or the condition in which he lives.

Like you said, since he has no family or friends any decision made on his behalf should be about what’s best for him.

Hopefully your blog posts will get the attention of someone who can step in and take positive action. Until then, it’s remarkable what you’re doing.

I hope the old man is not cranky, as most people at his age usually are. If he is co-operative and easy to speak to, here are a few suggestions for him:

1) Take him to a good clinic/hospital and have his blood tested, blood pressure, x-ray, cholesterol, blood sugar, ECG and pulse. This will give you an overview of his physical state and would determine if he is malnourished or deficient in any vital vitamins.
2) Clean his room/studio and buy him a bed, a transistor (not iPod) and some basic amenities like bedpan, wheelchair, walking stick, tissues etc.
3) Appoint a nurse who will visit him every 2 to 3 days until he is given a permanent place in an old age home.

I think for a non Kuwaiti he is not allowed in a nursing house unless you write an appeal for one one the local newspapers for the ministry of health or the Amir, they usually listen! But I feel that taking him out of his shop, the only world he ever known, is going to be tough on him and may negatively impact him. Any idea how he eats Mark? Who bring him food?

Maybe someone ought to set up an auction of his old photos, and use that money, to create a sorta fund for him?
if he is willing to give those up!

He does not have family? What does that mean? No son no daughter? No sister no brother? If not in Kuwait? Then probably somewhere they would be and they might not even be aware that the old man is alive. I would so love to meet him and have a chat with him. Poor man, he needs to be taken care of immediately. Where is the government? I mean really there are people in this country who stay like this? Its heart breaking.
Your doing a good job Mark. I would really love to help.

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