This last week has shown yet again why looking in on our neighbors and caregivers are especially important. The weather in much of the US is colder than cold. And when the power is out as it is for so many and the roads are impassable due to snow and ice complicated by strong winds; caregiver are tested far beyond the responsibilities we have originally signed on for. Perhaps this is even truer for the family caregiver as we have a connection far beyond the physical caregiving.
Certainly we should not attempt to take our loved ones out as the simple act of walking can be the beginning of a fracture or pneumonia. We need people to come to us with help and provisions. However, when everyone is in the same basket with the elements coming to bear on us, who are free to come to our aid? Almost exclusively it is other family members who take on this task. And what happens if there is not family living close to us, well then it goes to our neighbors.
At this time of year especially, it is important to think of our neighbors and take on some responsibility for their welfare. It cost nothing to call next door or to carefully go to the house next door and make sure all is well. It takes little time and exercise to check on our neighbors, possibly even bring them something small to make this time more comfortable for them. And if there have no heat, to help secure some for them, call the local authorities and let them know of a significant problem. The side of those cars says to ‘serve and protect’. However, they cannot help people if they are unaware of a need.