What To Do If Your Elderly Neighbor Needs Help
Perhaps you have been living down the street from an elderly person or couple who seem like they need some help running errands and doing everyday activities. Maybe you have been able to set aside some time to run them to the grocery store but realized that this occasional support is not enough for them. They are not your direct family members, so you have no real business inserting yourself into their personal life. You may even wonder if they have other family members who are aware of this situation. What do you do?
Fortunately, there are resources to address this kind of situation. But first, you should try approaching your neighbor in a polite and gentle way and talk them about finding more assistance.
Your neighbor(s) may be entirely aware that they need professional help but do not know where to begin. On the other hand, they could be in denial about needing help or could have a strained relationship with their family members who do not want to be involved. It would be worth your while to find out more information. It could be that an extra boost is all it takes for them to admit that they need help around the house or someone to drive them around. Lastly, if you think it is inappropriate for you to intervene, then consider what if something negative or harmful were to happen that could have easily been prevented. At the very least, it is worth talking to your neighbor to see what their thoughts are.
If your neighbor is willing to accept help, then you can connect them with some helpful resources like the Department of Elder Affairs (this is what it is called in Florida), their local Area Agency on Aging, or a nearby nurse registry or agency. For instance, counseling centers like the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center can provide you with helpful advice and can even connect you with care managers that can visit your neighbor’s house to assess the situation. Additionally, institutions like the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) are meant to provide senior citizens with the appropriate support and resources like advocacy in cases of abuse or neglect, adult day centers, home and long-term care services, meal delivery, and mental health clinics. Simply finding what resources your neighbors are eligible for can be the first, crucial step for improving their quality of life.
Organizations like the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center can schedule a companion to visit your neighbor’s home for several hours to provide light assistance, like with cooking, cleaning, or grocery shopping. Furthermore, nurse registries like ElderCare at Home can schedule professional caregivers to come to your home, connecting you with more hands-on help for medical-related issues. Each type of service has its unique features depending on the level of care your neighbor needs. This decision can be a difficult one to make for your neighbors, but, many times, it is a necessary one. So, do not hesitate to approach your neighbors and ask if there is anything that you can do to connect them to the appropriate sources of support.
If you would like some more advice, then call 888-285-0093 or visit ElderCare at Home’s website.