Advice Announcements

How to help your neighbours in the cold spell

Written by Alice Skeats

Across the UK, temperatures are plummeting. Whilst this might mean snow days for some, for others it can be very isolating, stopping them from leaving the house and as a result cutting them off from the outside world and necessary services.

That’s why we’re encouraging Nextdoor’s community across the UK to look out for an elderly or vulnerable neighbour during this cold snap.

Here are five easy ways you can help a neighbour in need, so if you know of an older or unwell neighbour why not drop them a message on Nextdoor to see how they are doing and arrange to pop by. Or alternatively, use Nextdoor to find a neighbour who may need extra support during these freezing conditions.

  • Offer to do food shopping

Many older or vulnerable people will choose to not leave the house and so will rely on what they already have in the house to eat.

Why not ask your elderly or ill neighbour if they have a shopping list or any bits you could pick up for them when you’re doing your weekly shop. Saving your neighbours the hassle of making the journey to the shops and carrying heavy bags in this cold weather is a great way to keep them from risk.  

  • Pop in and check they are warm

This might seem an obvious suggestion, but the cold can have a serious impact on the elderly because their bodies find it harder to adjust to big changes in temperature and therefore they are more at risk at getting ill. Check in to see if they have their heating on or have enough layers to keep them warm.

  • Cuppa and a chat

Popping in for a simple cup of tea and a chat can make the difference to an older or vulnerable neighbour, especially if they are unable to leave the house. Your catch-up could be the only conversation they have all day.

  • Clear driveways and paths

If your neighbour is reluctant to stay inside, why not offer to clear snow from their path and driveway and sprinkle salt to prevent them from falling or slipping.

  • Accompany them to an appointment or event

Some older neighbours will have no choice but to leave the house for necessary appointments or to pick up prescriptions, so why not offer to accompany them? By offering your neighbours a lift to any appointments or places they need to be, you’re not only helping them have a change of scenery, but you are also helping them to avoid the struggle

These are just a few ways in which we think you can help your neighbours during the heatwave. If you are worried about the health of a neighbour urge them to speak to their GP or call 111 and in an emergency call 999.

If you have a story about how you’ve used Nextdoor to help your neighbours let us know.

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