Winter buddies

Not everyone will cope with severe winter weather as well as the rest of us.

Some people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, might need some extra help or support when the weather starts to get colder.

So how will you know if someone needs a helping hand? If a neighbour is struggling, you might start to see signs of self-neglect, this includes:

  • Appearing dehydrated or malnourished
  • An untidy or unclean home
  • Inability or unwillingness to have an injury or illness medically treated
  • Lack of necessary medical aids, like glasses or hearing aids
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Lack of essential food, clothing or shelter
  • Hoarding of belongings or animals
  • Self-harm

If you know anyone who might struggle, give them a call or a knock on the door and say hello. There are some tell-tale signs that someone may have had an accident - examples of these may be milk being left on the doorstep, bins not taken out, newspapers sticking out of the letterbox and curtains drawn or lights left on.

If you’re concerned about the well-being of a neighbour, or are struggling yourself, you can contact:

By giving a little time to show that someone cares, there is a chance the number of accidents that older people have can be reduced.

They may need assistance with day to day things like shopping, taking the rubbish out, clearing pathways, collecting prescriptions or even walking the dog – perhaps they just want to see a friendly face.

Something as simple as sharing a pot of tea, helping with the shopping or changing a light bulb can make a massive difference to the life of someone who is lonely and you could brighten their day. 

A little bit of kindness really does go a long way, and in the colder months, it’s more important than ever to look out for your neighbours.