Homebound Neighbors May Need Your Help in Winter

Cold, snow are especially isolating for the elderly or disabled, expert says

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SUNDAY, Jan. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- If you have neighbors who can't get out of their home in winter, there are ways you can help them, an expert says.

"Winter is isolating for all of us, but when severe weather hits, the chronically ill or elderly suffer the most. Many people live alone and may be too proud to ask neighbors for help," said Debbie Jansky, assistant manager of home health and hospice at Loyola Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Illinois.

There are ways you can help, Jansky said in a Loyola news release.

Exchange phone neighbors, and make sure the person has your number on speed dial and that the phone is within reach.

Set a regular time for you to visit to have a quick chat and to check that your neighbor's heat and water are running, Jansky suggested.

Because homebound people don't get to be with others often, they will enjoy longer visits, too.

Other things you can do to help homebound neighbors include shoveling their walk, taking in their newspapers or mail, bringing them food, getting groceries or doing other errands, Jansky said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more winter health and safety tips.

SOURCE: Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, news release, Jan. 9, 2015


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