How Your Family Can Help Your Elderly Neighbors This Winter
Winter often means snowball fights and hot chocolate to little ones, But for the elderly, it can mean worry about falls, loneliness when road conditions prevent visitors, and fear when a storm comes in. If they’re lucky, though, they’ve got neighbors who’ve got their back. Check out the tips below to support your elderly neighbors this winter- and to help your little ones learn how important it is to develop strong, authentic relationships with their neighbors!
Build relationships year-round
While most people are on board with the idea of helping out any elderly neighbors they may have, chances are you won't know that your neighbor needs help during the winter unless you’ve gotten to know them throughout the year. All year round, take notice of who lives near you, who has frequent visitors, and who might need a little extra assistance during the winter months.
While older people tend to need more help than other neighbors, they aren't any more likely to ask for help than the rest of us. Check-in with your elderly neighbors frequently and make sure they have your phone number should they need to reach you.
Ask what you can pick-up before a storm
One easy way to help a neighbor in need is to stop in before you run to the store to grab your winter storm essentials and ask what you can pick up for them. While a pre-snow-storm grocery run is hardly fun for anyone, it can be particularly intimidating for elderly people who may not be as comfortable driving or making their way through crowds as others.
Bring over something warm
A warm meal feels good for anyone. Next time you cook up something special, make an extra batch and bring it to your neighbor. Cooking for one or two can be harder than cooking for a family and, often, cooking elaborate meals can be difficult for older people.
Listen and learn
While a warm meal and fresh groceries are helpful, most people thrive most when they have someone to talk to. Your elderly neighbors are people who have lifetimes of stories and joy to share. Instead of dropping of groceries or a meal and running, take some time to stick around and visit. Your neighbor will appreciate it more than you realize.
Have you ever helped out your elderly neighbors in the winter? Did you share that with your children? Share how in the comments!