Scarlet Lindsey | Civil Patriot
When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.
She lives a few doors down. You know the one. She smiles at you when you’re walking the dog and always offers a little wave. For as long as you can remember, she has lived there. . .alone.
Oh, every now and again people stop by—a daughter, a granddaughter, a cousin. But they live out of state. And now that COVID restrictions are in place, she rarely comes out, even to tend to the weeds in the garden. When she does come out, you notice that she looks different than before: unkempt. Weary.
You wonder if you should tap on the door and check on her but you don’t want to bother her or intrude. So, what can you do this Christmas season to assure her she’s not really alone?
Here are some tips for reaching out to elderly or lonely neighbors and friends this unique holiday season.
- Send a Christmas card, along with a letter to let her know that you are ready, willing, and able to help, should she need it.
- Be a Santa to a senior: take a Christmas gift to her (or to someone in a nursing home)
- Set up a Christmas wish list on Amazon and ask your neighbors to participate in blessing her this holiday season.
- Make a wreath for her front door.
- Bake cookies for her. A tin of Christmas cookies goes a long way in bringing joy during the holidays.
- Give her a poinsettia.
- Swap phone numbers and text occasionally to check in. Let her know that you’re thinking of her.
- Keep a close eye on her if she struggles with memory loss or other health-related issues.
- If you’re able, got the number of her next of kin, in case you need to reach out to her family.
- Offer to check the mail for her.
- Put out her trash, when necessary.
- Offer to pick up items at the grocery store for her (or offer to add items to you online order, if you shop that way).
- If you see a lack, fill it. Example: If the weeds in the garden are overgrown, ask if you can help out.
- If she has pets, offer to walk them and/or take them for grooming appointments.
- When you fix big meals for your family, set aside portions and freeze them, then deliver them to her when it feels right.
- Encourage the other neighbors to check in on her so that you’re not the only one.
- If she disappears for more than a day or two and isn’t responding, call the non-emergency line of your local police department and ask for a wellness check.
There are a host of ways you can make a difference in the life of an elderly or lonely neighbor during this unusual year we’re trekking through. Get creative. . .and stay active in her life so that she never has to worry about being alone.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.