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Help an Aging Neighbor this Winter


This is the time of year that as I grow older, I understand more and more why people retire in places like Florida, the Carolinas, and Arizona. The cold weather and snow here in the Midwest becomes less and less tolerable.

As much as I detest the chores that come with the blankets of snow, I am thankful that I am able to carry on through all of it. For many seniors, the arrival of the cold weather and snow usher in even more isolation.

I remember my grandmother being very aware that while she was still quite capable of driving, she just wasn’t as good as she once was. For several years before she finally stopped getting behind the wheel all together, she took a hiatus from driving during the snowy months.

The lack of transportation for seniors can quickly diminish their independence; it impacts much more than just their ability to get somewhere. Without a way to get to the grocery store, nutrition is often jeopardized. With no transportation to doctor appointments or the pharmacy, there is risk to a senior’s health.

Offering a ride to the grocery store, or to an appointment means a lot to a senior who doesn’t drive, or who isn’t comfortable driving in bad weather. If you’re not able to provide transportation for an aging loved one or neighbor, consider offering to pay for them to use a cab service.


Beyond transportation, there are many other things you can do to help out a senior during the cold months.

• Shovel their driveway and walk

• Help them arrange for mail and newspaper delivery to the door

• Carry trash and recycling to the curb

• Check the furnace filter and thermostat settings

• Share a meal

• Pick up prescriptions or groceries


Looking out for an aging neighbor is a wonderful gift to not only your neighbor, but his family. Many seniors are able to stay in their homes because they have neighbors to help them with the little things that make a big difference.

And trust me, when you’re making life better for a neighbor by sharing a pot roast, it’s pretty darn difficult to be glum about the weather.

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