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I’m worried about my neighbour. Should I check on them?

I’m worried about my neighbour. She’s seems quite private and looks very frail. Sometimes I don’t see any movement at her place for days on end. Should I go and check on her?

We live in a society where many people have highly valued privacy and individual responsibility and freedom, to the extent that it has almost created a ‘hands off, don’t interfere’ attitude. It’s something that research, and to some extent COVID-19, has shown us doesn’t always work in our favour. We are social beings and most of us respond to the warmth of human contact. So, we say: Knock on your neighbour’s door. (Don’t be too influenced by appearances, they often hide a different person inside.) You’ll find the right words; something along the lines of “I haven’t been over to say hello yet/for a while” might be a start.

Remember however that people may choose to to live as they wish (with very few exceptions). They are adult and can make their own decisions. If you believe however that your neighbour is unable to make her own decisions, or you have real concerns for her, contact Age Concern for advice. They have skilled staff who can deal with such issues.

If you fear that your neighbour is at immediate risk. Ring 111 and ask for the police.

Updated: 30 Jan 2024
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