Be a good winter neighbour

12 Feb 2020 01:49
Published by: Scott Callan

Those who are older or have health problems may need your help and support.

They may not be able to go to the shops, attend hospital appointments or pick up prescriptions, making them vulnerable when the weather is particularly bad. This can also make them feel lonely and isolated.

Here are a few tips: 


  • Check on elderly or vulnerable members of the community to make sure they are safe and well
  • Make sure they have enough food and medicines to prevent them having to go out in very cold or icy weather and, if they don’t, pick up essentials for them when you’re out and about
  • Give them your telephone number, so they can contact you for help
  • Check their home is warm enough. Living rooms should be heated to 21C and bedrooms to 18C
  • Keep drives and footpaths clear of snow and ice for your neighbours


According to Age UK, more than two million people in England over the age of 75 live alone. Bad weather could result in someone who is usually sociable and active, becoming housebound and feeling alone. This can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing.

Cllr Laura Jeuda, council cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Checking in on friends, family members and neighbours this winter can make all the difference to them. A quick phone call or a knock at the door can prevent people from feeling lonely and helps to ease pressure on urgent and emergency health services at a critical time of the year.”

Residents are also urged to be on the lookout for signs that something might be wrong. 


Warning signs include:


  • Milk still out on the doorstep late in the day
  • Newspapers and post stuck in the letterbox
  • Lights on during the day
  • A home in darkness, when there should be someone at home
  • A dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in
  • Bins not put out on collection days.



For more information and advice go to



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