Be a good neighbor during cold weather

Published 4:21 pm Monday, January 2, 2012

The warm weather we enjoyed during the holidays will soon be a distant memory as freezing temperatures move into the area.

Normally, when cold weather hits our area, people begin making a checklist of things they need to do to keep pipes from bursting, save plants and keep pets safe and warm.

There is one more item that needs to be added to the list. If you have elderly neighbors, make sure they are safe during cold snaps.

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Many times the elderly, especially those who live alone, might not have family in the immediate area to check in periodically to make sure everything is okay.

Some elderly people are also reluctant to turn the heat up because they are living on a fixed income.

Even a relatively mild indoor temperature – just 60 degrees – can put elderly adults at risk for hypothermia.

It is especially dangerous if they are not wearing warm clothing and not aware of the signs of hypothermia.

There are also dangers outside the home as well.

Concrete slabs outside a front door can become covered with water or dew and freeze to form a slick surface. This could cause the homeowner to slip and fall.

Over the next two days, make sure to add checking in on neighbors to the to-do list of preparation. The few minutes it take to pop in and say hello could save someone’s life.