When the winter months start to become all too close and the darker, shorter nights start to descend, it is hard enough to motivate yourself or your children and partner to get up and dressed and head off to work or school in the dark and the cold.
Spare a thought for the elderly members of your family, loved ones and neighbors who have no pressing need to leave the house; when winter truly sets in, they are the ones that need human compassion and connection and help with all aspects of their daily life that involve getting them through the day safely and positively.
No matter how close you are to your elderly friend or relative and even if your relationship can be summarized on the back of note, restricted to mere morning pleasantries on the way to and from the trash, they will be seriously appreciative, not to mention particularly sentimentally touched if you take five minutes out of your busy day to go round to their house and offer to do their shopping for them.
Garden and Backyard Maintenance
There is a plethora of not just helpful, but wholly important and necessary jobs that need to be done in the garden and backyard, not just during the winter months, but in the weeks leading up to the coldest and darkest season.
One fundamentally incredibly helpful charitable act would be to regularly ensure the backyard, paths and gardens are kept reasonably clear of snowfall, particularly before the snow turns to ice. The most effective way to do this is to purchase a snow blower for your own property and offer your elderly loved one if they would like their own property cleared from snow at the same time. In addition, you could offer to store their garden furniture and décor in your own garage or simply move their garden ware to their own garage if they are unable.
Invite Them Over
As well as the practical maintenance and upkeep of their backyard and home, another main issue when it comes to elderly people, especially when they live alone, during the winter months is the lack of human contact, companionship and conversation.
If you are closer to your elderly neighbor than any of their friends of family members who you are aware regularly visit them, invite them over to your house once or twice a month during winter for a delicious hot meal around the table with you and your family.
The Importance of Human Contact
Humans are sociable animals and, as a result, the mental health of your elderly loved one can decline just as much, even more, than their physical health during winter. Ensure you stay in regular contact and, furthermore, encourage other friends and local neighbors to extend their conversation and companionship to those who are living on their own to ensure the community as a whole is a connected and positive one.