Take time to be a good neighbor

A recent suggestion by the Michigan State Police would go a long way to making our communities better places to live if people took it to heart.

In the Delta County, it is not uncommon for our residents to look out for one another. It is one of the gems of the Delta County area – a deep sense of community and caring for others. The Michigan State Police are have taken up that message and are urging Michigan residents to give a helping hand to the elderly living alone.

A single act of kindness can go a long way, and with nearly 30 percent of the elderly living at home alone, the Michigan State Police is encouraging Michiganders to be a friendly neighbor and assist an older person who is in need.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, almost half of older women, age 75 or older, live alone. The proportion of living alone increases with advanced age and can often lead to the elderly no being able to do the simple tasks they once could do before.

“If you’re an able-bodied person, there is likely a task you can do to help out,” said Trooper Stacey Rasanen, MSP Negaunee Post. “Even if you’re not physically able to assist, listening and providing companionship can help too. Often times there are simple things one can do, like helping with yard clean-up, being a good listener or offering to pick up something at the store that can make a real difference in the life of a senior.”

Here are some tips to help engage with the elderly and to make their lives a little easier: be friendly; introduce yourself, provide company; offer to cook a meal, offer to help around the house/yard or with other tasks they are no longer able to do, offer to run errands if you’re going shopping or in to town.

Be a good neighbor, help a senior to create an emergency contact list that includes your contact information and place it in an easy to access location in the home, be aware and read the signs of distress, follow up if you have any concerns about their well-being or suspect suspicious activity.