Older adults in your neighborhood may live independently, but that still does not mean that they do not need a little help from their neighbors. As people age, their ability to do tasks like gardening, landscaping, and painting can be hard to accomplish with arthritis. Some older people cannot spend a lot of time in the sun because of their medications. Others have poor eyesight and difficulty walking, which can put them at risk for falls. Keeping the interior house clean and orderly can also be difficult for older people who may not get around as well as they have in the past.
Develop Friendships with Elderly Neighbors
Many older people will not ask others for help. Pride can be an issue for some, while others do not want to burden their family, friends, or neighbors. For these reasons, it is vital to reach out to older neighbors and offer a helping hand. Striking up a conversation with older adults can result in friendships that may lead to them opening up about their needs. For example, an older adult may talk about how they previously enjoyed planting a vegetable garden but can no longer do the work. Does this mean that a neighbor should grow and maintain a garden for the individual? No–but it is possible to suggest alternatives such as container gardening. Maybe the senior has not thought of growing a tomato plant or some salad greens in containers on the patio.
Make the Holiday’s Brighter for an Elderly Individual
It is not unusual for older adults with limited social contacts to spend the holidays alone. Isolation during the holidays can be hard for a senior. Coordinating a few neighbors to send holiday cards to a senior can be uplifting. Inviting a senior neighbor to a holiday dinner, dropping by with a basket of fruit, or a holiday treat are ideas that can let a senior neighbor know they are loved and appreciated.
Connect an Elderly Neighbor to Community Resources
In almost every city or town, an organization helps seniors connect to the services they need. Neighbors who are unable to support a senior physically or financially can help find programs that assist with meals, housekeeping, transportation, and other needs.