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How to help your neighbors when it’s cold outside

Posted on Friday, March 29, 2024 at 11:52 am

Your neighbors who live alone might need some friendly assistance this winter, especially if they’re elderly.

A small gesture on your part could have a big impact on someone who doesn’t have anyone else to turn to for help.


Some ideas:

  • Don’t wait for an elderly neighbor to ask you for help. Offer. Insist. Many older people pride themselves on their independence and are reluctant to accept help, let alone ask for it.
  • Check in whenever there’s a storm or the electricity goes out to make sure their heat is on. Someone who can’t make it to the breaker box in the basement might appreciate it if you stop by to check on things.
  • Take the initiative to call the electric cooperative or an HVAC specialist if there’s a problem with the neighbor’s central heating on a cold day.
  • Poke your head in frequently to say “hello.” While you’re there, observe if your neighbor is heating the home with a grill meant for outdoor use or an unattended wood-burning fire. Lend a portable space heater if you have one and get rid of the unsafe devices.
  • Deliver hot meals when you can or invite your neighbor to have dinner with your family. Hot meals on cold days go a long way to making us feel warm and comfortable.

The Marion Tribune – January 11, 2024