Keeping an Eye on Elderly Neighbours this Winter

by | Nov 15, 2021

Winter is fast approaching and it’s the time of year that we retreat into our homes, out of the inclement, cold weather.  The days are shorter and the nights longer.  This is the time of year when the elderly are some of the most vulnerable in our society.

With the onslaught of winter, it’s not uncommon for the elderly to become housebound for a while and with this in mind, a friendly neighbour who is looking after their best interests will come as a heart -warming welcome.

If you have an elderly neighbour, who’s perhaps living alone or is less mobile than they used to be, here’s some great tips to ensure that you can keep an eye on them through the winter months.

  1. Do they feel well? 

As we get older, our immune system doesn’t work as effectively and we’re more susceptible to virus and infection.  A quick chat with your neighbour will establish if they’ve had their flu vaccine and are taking their medication properly.  If they’re finding it difficult to keep on top of their medication, then you may be able to help them by organising their medications into a daily pillbox.

  1. Are they mobile?

The elderly often have mobility issues, which in turn leads to them being less active.  This has a knock on effect because they’ll struggle to keep warm.  We all know that the best way to combat cold is to move around and generate body heat.  The elderly sometimes can’t do this, so a friendly invite for a walk around the block together may help them a) get a bit of fresh air b) give them a little exercise and c) give them a bit of company.

  1. Are they eating well?

As stated earlier, the elderly very often have reduced mobility.  This can have dramatic implications in the winter time, particularly if there’s ice and snow on the roads and pavements.  They may be prevented from getting food from the supermarkets because they’re frightened of falling over.  We can all help in terms of running errands for them, picking up their food shopping and even cooking microwaveable meals for them.  Also, a bit of time spent with them will help keep their spirits up, knowing that someone cares enough to keep an eye for them

  1. Are they warm enough?

With energy prices soaring at the moment, there is significant pressure on the elderly to control their heating bills.  Some may be tempted to turn down the heating to dangerously cold levels, which can be disastrous for them in the winter time.  There are some gadgets on the market these days that can help keep people warm.  Some examples are heated jackets, gloves and hats.  These garments are designed with a heating system and battery that, when charged, will heat up and provide body heat.

Encourage your elderly neighbour to keep a couple of blankets on the sofa in order for them to wrap up in the lounge when they’re watching the television and are therefore inactive at the time.

  1. Are they lonely?

Many people have felt lonely and isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic, but for the elderly, loneliness isn’t a temporary feeling.  Living alone can be very isolating and all it takes sometimes is a friendly knock on the door to check up on them, perhaps a 30 minute chat over a cup of coffee, or a helping hand with their shopping.

Keeping an eye on elderly neighbours this winter isn’t rocket science and doesn’t take a whole heap of time.  Here at Sydenham House, we encourage everyone to look out for their neighbours this winter and do what they can to help them feel comfortable and still part of the community.

Sydenham House is a residential home set in Blakeney, Gloucestershire, where we care passionately about the elderly and ways to help them in their advancing years.  If you need any advice on keeping an eye on elderly neighbours this winter, please give us a call on 01594 517 015, or visit our website www.sydenham-house.co.uk for more information.