Let’s be neighbourly - 5 ways to help an elderly neighbour

Written by: Rachel Swaby
Staying Well Project Worker (Elland)
Calderdale Neigbourhood Schemes Team

Neighbours don’t have to be just those we nod to in passing - reaching out to an older neighbour in small ways can make a big difference! In these busy times it’s easy to forget those around us – combat this by taking time to be a good neighbour.  Here’s some ideas of ways to help:

1. Say hello - around one third of older people live alone and having a quick chat to someone in passing can brighten their day; making them feel valued and noticed. We are all social creatures and taking time to talk to a neighbour may provide them with their first conversation of the day.

2. Keep an eye out - keeping an eye on an elderly neighbour doesn't need to be as ‘big brother’ as it sounds. Simply thinking of a neighbour during bad weather or noticing if they are struggling with something; It might be spotting that you haven’t seen them in while or keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. Families live a lot further away from each other nowadays and people can often be quite far from their support networks – keeping an eye out for those around you can make a big difference.

3. Offer to help - getting older can make it more difficult to go about some daily tasks. Offering to help a neighbour with something they might find difficult can take a weight of their mind, as well as helping them keep safe and healthy. Noticed your neighbour struggling with heavy shopping or finding it difficult to hang their washing out? Offer to lend a hand.

4. Share something - living alone can be very isolating to some people. Offering to share a meal, IT skills or simply sharing time and conversation with someone or simple acts that can greatly impact on someone’s life. Sharing and offering to help others not only make you feel better but can make someone feel valued, included and looked after

5. Recommend things they might enjoy - if you know someone who may  be feeling lonely and bored and would benefit from more company you may already know something that could help them such as local clubs or groups; if not can you help them find things out? Have you heard about a local lunch club or befriending service? Do you know of a class they may like to be involved in where they could meet other people? 

We all have the skills and power to make people feel included, valued and connected to their community – all you need to do is find a little time!

Rachel is the Staying Well Project worker in the Elland area. The Staying Well Project helps connect people to the community and works with people to feel less isolated.  The project is also running in Hebden Bridge, Central Halifax and North Halifax for more details contact Rachel Swaby on 01422 392 708 or email rachel.swaby@calderdale.gov.ukIf you or a family member want to know more about local activities or volunteering opportunities then please get in touch! If you have an idea for a local project or group then drop us a line. The project is also running in Hebden Bridge, Central Halifax and North Halifax for more details contact Rachel Swaby on 01422 392 708 or email rachel.swaby@calderdale.gov.uk.

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