|Vintage Homes in North Bend, OR|
I’ve posted stories about two women found dead in their homes. How this happens in today’s world is a mystery to me and yet, I now wonder what would happen to me if I fell down the steep stairs to my bedroom.
I rarely open my front blinds unless guests are coming. Only one neighbor can see the mini-blinds open in my TV area. Would anyone notice if my lights stayed on or off day after day?
My Oregon children call or text, but it’s not unusual for me to not be available. Would they call back? My sweet granddaughter is now settled in her cute home with Snookie dog. She doesn’t drop by as often. Most of the week I text or talk to Marcy, my co-workers or one of the church family, but how long before they missed me?
Do I sound morbid? No, just being real. It happened to at least two women we know about, and probably many never made the news.
Six Ways to be a Better Neighbor:
- Watch for signs of life. No one noticed when Karen Freelin’s lights remained off month after month. They paid no attention to the lack of yard care or if a car left or arrived. They didn’t watch to see what happened with the mail or if the garbage cans were put out weekly.
- Some people may feel reluctant to ask for help. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and offer a contact number. If your neighbors are elderly, send a note once in awhile or drop by. Keep a sharp eye out for a change in their routine.
- In extreme weather conditions call your neighbor and ask, “Can I pick up your groceries today?” Or, “I noticed coupons for....” When you visit, offer to pick them up an extra supply of milk, bread, or canned goods the next time you are shopping.
- In today’s electronic age, your elderly neighbor may have email. Offer your email address and watch for responses.
- Create a flyer to hand out in your neighborhood. List emergency numbers, food bank numbers, meals on wheels, the Council on the Aging and community center numbers. Add the church phone number in your area, too.
- Be available. It may disrupt your schedule, but the alternative is an “Alone Too Long” incident right in your neighborhood.
Do you have an elderly relative that needs a phone call?