Are you a Good Neighbour?
Many of us want to help our elderly or frail neighbours but we may not always be sure how to go about it, or even whether it’s appropriate. After all, no one wants to seem nosy or interfering, but a few simple steps can make a world of difference to someone who may be reluctant to ask for help themselves.
Life is busy, but just saying "Hello" or having a brief conversation with an elderly or frail neighbour can make a huge difference. If you've lived close by for years without speaking it can feel a bit strange to suddenly start talking to someone; but it's never too late to say "Hello" for the first time. Loneliness can be miserable and extremely damaging to a person’s mental health. Simple human contact is vital for our general wellbeing.
Don’t forget to ask
Not everyone likes to ask for help but it doesn’t mean they don’t need it. So, if you see an elderly or frail neighbour, don’t forget to ask if they need anything.
Have they got their medicines?
Pharmacists and doctors may be closed during holidays, meaning people may be unable to get important medication at this time. Ask your neighbour if they have a good supply of medication ahead of the bank holidays – perhaps you could collect any prescriptions they need.
Are they able to get essentials?
Bad weather may make some people reluctant to leave their home – and if it is icy, they should stay safely inside. Why not ask if you can buy anything for them when you go shopping, as such toilet paper, bread, or to top up their gas or electric meter?
Know the signs
If you haven’t seen a neighbour for a while, look for signs that they may need help. Are their curtains still drawn? Is their milk still on the door step or are newspapers still in the letterbox? Don’t wait - pop round and check if they are ok.
It’s easy to be a good neighbour!
What seem like little things to you may have enormous benefit to someone who is lonely or isolated and it really does feel good to help people.
If you are concerned about your neighbour then call 01296 383204
For more information please visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/goodneighbour