Six ways you can look out for elderly neighbours
According to Age UK, nearly a million older people feel lonelier during the run up to Christmas, and this often continues into the colder months of January and February. Older people are also more susceptible to the temperature drop and adverse weather. It is therefore important to look out for elderly residents that live around you in winter.
Here are some ideas for helping your older neighbours – all of these could brighten up their day and make them feel less lonely and vulnerable.
It all starts with a simple ‘hello’ and a smile when you see an elderly neighbour out and about. Be friendly and approachable each time you see them and eventually you may build up to more regular chit-chat. You never know, this could be the only social interaction your neighbour has that day or week.
Offer to help
Many elderly people don’t like to ask for help, but if you build a relationship with them, they will become more comfortable approaching you for help when they need to. Why not offer to assist them with small household tasks and errands? This could include changing light bulbs, mowing their lawn, grocery shopping or taking out their bins. Make sure they have enough supplies of any regular medication for the colder months – and don’t forget to clear their pathways if it snows!
Keep them company
Loneliness is one of the biggest issues facing elderly people, and many of them are simply looking for some company. In fact, at Unique Senior Care, many of our clients fall under the ‘companionship care’ bracket. Why not hold a games night or a tea and cake date with your older neighbours?
Young at heart
Many older people are still very young at heart. If you have children, why not suggest they pop round to an elderly neighbours with you for a game of Monopoly or Cluedo?
Invite them over
As well as popping in to visit them, why not invite your elderly neighbour over for a cup of tea or a bite to eat? As we age, our social calendar becomes less busy, so a neighbour might really appreciate having an ‘event’ to attend. If they aren’t keen or able to leave their house, you could also make larger portions when cooking, offering the extra to them.
Pay general attention
If you know your elderly neighbour doesn’t have many visitors, it is important to generally pay attention to them – do their lights come on at night? Are the curtains drawn daily? If there’s any reason you think your elderly neighbour might not be well, it is important to check on them. They will appreciate someone keeping an eye on them, and whilst you are with your neighbour you can make sure the house is warm enough and that they have plenty of food in stock.
You could be providing some very valuable help to a person that might otherwise be too polite to ask for it and you never know; you might even make a new friend out of being a good neighbour. Why not get other neighbours involved too and become a real community?