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Helping the Elderly

Thoughtful men, women and children can give back to their communities in various ways. Coaching youth sports, volunteering with local charities and donating to local food or clothing drives are just a few of the ways you can help make your community a better place.

Another way to give back is to help your elderly neighbors who may not be as independent as they once were. Such men and women may have physical limitations that compromise their ability to perform everyday tasks. People in the prime of their life take their ability to perform such tasks for granted. And while these gestures might seem simple, helping your elderly neighbors with their everyday tasks can have a profound impact on their lives.

  • Ask if a neighbor needs anything from the grocery store. Everyone forgets to buy something at the grocery store from time to time. That's a minor inconvenience to most people, but it can have a much bigger impact on elderly people who have mobility issues. Before taking trips to the grocery store, make it a habit to call an elderly neighbor and ask if he or she needs anything.
  • Invite seniors over for dinner or other gatherings. Many seniors deal with social isolation, which occurs when they lack opportunities to interact with other people. Recent data from the Administration on Aging indicates that 35 percent of women over the age of 65 were widows and almost half of women 75 and older live alone. Inviting elderly neighbors who live alone over for dinners, movie nights or game watches once per week is a great way to help them avoid social isolation and give them something to look forward to.
  • Help with some weekly chores. Seniors living on fixed incomes may find it difficult to maintain their homes. Relatively simple tasks like mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage and even vacuuming can be difficult for seniors with physical limitations. Pitching in to help with such chores once or twice a week won't require much time on your part and can have a significant impact on the lives of your aging neighbors.
  • Drive seniors to religious services. Attending religious services is important to many seniors, but those who can no longer drive themselves to weekly services may not be attending them as much as they would like. Whether you attend such services or not, offer to drive an elderly neighbor on Sunday mornings (or whenever weekly services are held). Religious services can help seniors stay connected to their faith and their communities, and driving an elderly neighbor to and from houses of worship once per week won't require a significant commitment of your time. Helping your elderly neighbors is a great and often simple way to give back to your community. 

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