How to be a good neighbour to an elderly person

Many of us live happy lives at home surrounded by family, often without a thought for those that are living around us.

How many people on your street live alone? How many are elderly and find it difficult to get out and about?

How many have regular visits from friends or family?

It’s important to spare a thought for our elderly neighbours as many of them can live alone, often with very little if any social interaction at all.

If you want to make steps to becoming a better neighbour, then we’ve put together some ideas of how you can do this:

Say ‘hello’

It all starts with a simple ‘hello’ and a smile when you see an elderly neighbour out and about. Be friendly and approachable each time you see them and eventually you may build up to more regular chit-chat. You never know, this could be the only social interaction your neighbour has that day/week.

Offer to run any errands

If your elderly neighbour finds it difficult to get out and about, why not offer to run any errands for them that they might need doing? If you’re popping into town, why not offer to pick up any shopping or items they need?

Pop in for a cuppa

If you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, why not pop round for a cup of tea? Alternatively, you could have them visit your house for a cuppa or even lunch or dinner. Whichever you decide, it’s a great way for them to chat about their day and have a change of surroundings.

Take them leftovers

If you’ve cooked a bit too much food one evening, why not pop them a box of leftovers? If they can’t move around the kitchen themselves very well or find it hard to cook then they will be very appreciative of this.

Pay general attention

If you know your elderly neighbour doesn’t have many visitors it’s important to generally pay attention to them – do their lights come on at night? Are the curtains drawn daily? If there’s any reason you think your elderly neighbour might not be ok it’s important to check on them. They will appreciate someone keeping an eye on them.

You could be providing some very valuable help to a person that might otherwise be too polite to ask for it and you never know, you might even make a new friend out of being a good neighbour. Why not get other neighbours involved too and become a real community?