• fb icon sml
  • twitter icon sml
  • linkedin

#checkinonaneighbour these holidays

The holiday season can be a time when people feel especially isolated and lonely. It is also summer, and soaring temperatures and heatwave conditions can be dangerous for older people, especially if they live on their own.

Check your neighbour pic

Connecting with community by connecting with someone locally, whether you know them or not, can have a great impact on those people who live alone and are separated from family and friends during the holidays.

We spend so much time in the virtual space checking in on Facebook and social media, make the time to check in on a neighbour this Christmas. 

Northern Region Manager Despina Kavnoudias from annecto Coburg knows just how tough this time of year can be for people, “it’s our responsibility as a community to reach out to those people in our community who are doing it tough.” 

annecto Coburg play a small part by inviting annecto clients to join them at an annual Christmas lunch. “It’s an important time for many of our clients. We can’t invite everyone, but we invite those who are particularly isolated and would enjoy and benefit from a meal shared with others, explains Despina. “For some it will be the only thing they do this holiday season in a group situation,” said Despina.

annecto General Manager Lando Antonelli believes it’s important as a community, that we all be more considerate of our neighbours.

“We do see an increase in the amount of services and supports over the holidays and for people without close family this can create increased anxiety.  Our After-Hours Service is always busy as the weather gets hotter and people basically need help.”

Annecto Ringwood traditionally hold a number of activities during the lead up to Christmas that engage clients and include them in activities that for some will be the only celebrations they will attend.  “One couple who really look forward to our end of year client lunch always attend. It’s very important to them,” explains Gaye Ponting, annecto Ringwood Case Manager.

If you have a neighbour who lives alone, be aware, say hi and you might even end up having a cuppa. It’s not a big commitment, but it might make a huge difference to someone who may spend a lot of time on their own.

On hot days make sure you check in on older relatives or friends and offer to pick things up for them so they don't have to leave the house.  Help them make out a safety plan for hot days so they know who to call in an emergency. Make sure they have plenty of icy-poles in the freezer, non-perishable foods and water bottles in the fridge. Find more tips about staying safe in summer here.

If you find you are on your own this holiday period, there are many things you can do to stay connected and active. 

  • going for a walk and chatting to people around your neighbourhood
  • join a gym or exercise class where you’re bound to see people everyday
  • catch up with a friend
  • take a class and pursue your hobbies
  • write a letter to friends or family to let them know you care
  • call a friend or relative for a chat
  • see a movie or theatre performance
  • join a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share your thoughts.

Also, take the time to chat with people when you are shopping this festive season. 

If you are feeling sad and need to speak to someone, contact a friend or family member you already have a trusting relationship with.  If you can’t reach someone you know, contact LifeLine on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. For tips on how to plan for the hot days and staying safe in summer, click here.