Accidental caregivers


Our new house brought with it many new things: a new address, a new location and new neighbors. I find it odd that people in the market for a new home would spend so much energy deciding on the location and price but give so little attention to who their neighbors might be. Some neighbors change lives forever. Not long after my husband, Peter, and I moved into our home in Westlake Village, we hosted a “meet your neighbors” cocktail party. Neighbors arrived, mostly two by two, husband and wife, mostly our age, in their 50s. One couple, Fred and Hildy, were the exception. Fred, 83, wheeled his wife, Hildy, 86, into our front entry. They were a lovely couple, totally unaware that they weren’t exactly like the rest of the neighbors who came for drinks. A few weeks after our event, Hildy called to ask if my husband and I would like to attend Fred’s birthday party. I said to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be nice to meet Fred and Hildy’s kids and grandkids?” The party attendees turned out...