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The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia reminds us all to be attentive to our elderly neighbors during this winter storm. From shoveling their drive to gathering their mail, being proactive in assisting neighbors is appreciated.

Concerns for older adults seem to be common sense. Elders have functioned independently throughout their life and may be hesitant to ask for help.

Some points to consider during winter weather - Elders have difficulty regulating their body temperature, making them more prone to hypothermia. Because of this, outdoor excursions can be even more dangerous. A simple trip to the mailbox or to get the newspaper can be a serious undertaking. Also, the strain of shoveling snow leaves many elders susceptible to injury and heart attack.

Another point to consider - the “winter blues” can affect everyone, but particularly the elderly. A recent survey of elderly in the United Kingdom revealed 21% of respondents fear being stranded at home during winter storms. Many elders have had a loss of companionship, independence and mobility.

Given these facts, a simple visit to an elderly neighbor can make a world of difference in their life, especially when the weather hands us complications.