There’s a thin line between being a nosey neighbour and being a concerned neighbour, but when you have elderly people living close to you, it’s better to be overly concerned and make sure that everything is OK than it is to realise that an elderly neighbour may have been ill or injured in their home and unable to contact anyone.
Many elderly people are very proud and don’t like to ask anyone for help, so sometimes it’s good to impose yourself on them slightly, pop round every now and again, get to know their habits, and allow them to start to trust you. This way, they will know that if they do need anything they can always ask you for help instead of trying to carry on when they are struggling.
How to Offer to Help Your Elderly Neighbours
The best course of action to begin with is to make yourself known to an elderly neighbour and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Getting older might mean that they have trouble carrying out simple jobs that you could manage with little effort, and they will really appreciate your offer.
Get To Know Your Neighbours first, by Introducing yourself. Perhaps invite your elderly neighbours in for a cup of coffee and use this opportunity to offer to give them a hand with household tasks and running errands – if they need it. It could be that little jobs like changing light bulbs, mowing their lawn, or a little bit of basic DIY need doing but they’re struggling and don’t want to admit it. The key is to not patronise your neighbours, but offer your help in a friendly way so that they feel comfortable approaching you when they need to.
Offering to Run Errands for Elderly Neighbours
It doesn’t take much to ask if your elderly neighbours need anything when you’re doing a supermarket run. Offering to run errands gives you an opportunity to keep an eye on them. Calling in regularly on the off-chance they might need something means you can doing some grocery shopping or pick up their prescriptions for them, as well as checking they are OK. Offering help with lifts to doctors appointments, hairdressers or church is often appreciated, too.
If You’re Worried About Your Elderly Neighbour
A lot of elderly people tend to be creatures of habit, so if you notice a change in behaviour it’s worth checking they are OK. If you haven’t seen them about for a few days, or you’ve noticed the curtains are still drawn after they would normally be, just knock on the door and see if they need any help, or if they need any errands running. It is especially important to Look Out For Your Elderly Neighbours In Cold Weather, as they are more vulnerable. If you think that your elderly neighbour might need medical help, see if you can contact a family member or even emergency services if there’s been a fall or they are ill.
If you think that your elderly neighbour might be struggling and could be in need of longer term help, the best thing to do is ask them how they are getting on. Although most people won’t admit they are in trouble, you may be able to judge this for yourself and if so, try contacting your local council and asking if there’s anyone who could visit. Your neighbours may be entitled to help with staying in their own home, home care and assistance with bills and benefits.