Spring to it and befriend an elderly neighbour

Spring has sprung, the daffodils are out but nothing brightens the day for an older person as much as a cup of tea and a chat.

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people to keep an eye on vulnerable relatives and neighbours.

Trees are beginning to burst into blossom but winter illnesses are still about and older community members, in particular those who live on their own, often find themselves alone and unable to help themselves, especially if they fall ill.

Start the conversation by stopping to talk to your elderly neighbours if you see them out on the street and ask if they need support with anything. The help you offer could be as simple as helping them carry shopping home, offering assistance with household chores, or gardening. Don’t be afraid to offer to get their medication if they’re not able to and, if you can, make sure they’re taking it as prescribed.

Sharing a meal is a great way to help someone and a healthy diet can keep immune systems strong enough to fight off illness. If you see that an elderly relative, friend or neighbour is not looking or acting themselves, encourage them to visit their local pharmacist for advice.

Dr Anita Pereira, the CCG’s frailty aligned neighbourhood lead for West Basildon, said: ‘’It’s not always easy to take the first step, but more often than not people will appreciate offers of help and support. It’s important for communities to look out for each other to help us all stay well.”

• If you’re an older person experiencing feelings of isolation, there are ways to help yourself overcome loneliness, even if you live alone and find it hard to get out and about. Find more information at NHS choices.


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