Senior Health Series: Look In On Your Neighbor
As people grow older they often lose touch with family and friends, and find themselves more and more isolated. In fact, they may have little contact with anyone beyond the occasional conversation with a store clerk. This type of isolation is not only sad, it’s also dangerous.
If you have elderly neighbors, make it a point to look in on them on a regular basis. It’s often when we’re the most isolated that we need the greatest amount of help. Older people often have an established routine. They may go to the local McDonald’s every morning at 9am or check their mail every day at noon. When you check in on your neighbor, you learn to recognize those routines and you’ll get a good sense of when something’s amiss. That’s a great time to do a simple wellness check.
This check-in need not be anything fancy. You don’t have to spend your entire day with them and swap life stories. Simply go and knock on their door to see if all is well, or if they need anything. Find out if they have anyone they can call on if they need help. If you need to follow-up, you can check with your local county agency on aging. Another great resource is the National Council on Aging.
Take a moment to check in on your neighbor. It only takes a few minutes of your time, but it can make a big difference in an elderly person’s life.