Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Mon, May 20

Do the right thing; check on your neighbors

If you notice a change in your neighbor's routine, do the right thing and check up on them. Something could be gravely wrong. (Adobe Images)

If you notice a change in your neighbor's routine, do the right thing and check up on them. Something could be gravely wrong. (Adobe Images)

It has come to my attention lately just how often my neighbors need some kind of assistance.

There are many elderly who have no family here in Kingman. I can't imagine how that happens. In any case, we need to offer help when we can.

Recently, one of my neighbors was taken away after weeks of living alone and unable to care for herself. I would often see her outside and sitting on her walker having a smoke. Even though she actually had a son in our area, he seldom came around.

She would ask neighbors to take her to the store, bring her food, and pretty much see to her needs. Her place was very unkempt, as she could not do much in the way of cleaning.

I do not know what services she may have been eligible for, but obviously was not receiving any. I see in my own apartment community that those of us who are still mobile often pitch in for the others. I take out my neighbor’s trash, as they both use walkers and just taking the trash out is quite a chore for them.

I see that one of the others actually does laundry for her next door neighbor, who does not move around too well. Sometimes, there is help available through some family members, but they do not want to ask them for help.

There will come a time when I can no longer do things for myself as well as I can now. Anyone who lives long enough will arrive at that time in their life when things they did easily will suddenly become impossible.

As neighbors, and just human beings, we need to pay attention to our aging neighbors. If you suddenly see that a routine your neighbor did daily has changed, investigate it. If they have a pet they no longer take outside, there is probably something going on. If they subscribe to our newspaper and are not picking it up out front, something is wrong.

We have good neighbors where I live, but still folks fall through the cracks. Often times it is the mail carrier who first notices. The mail box is not being emptied like it used to be.

When habits change it is often because the person is ill or hurt. We have no idea what is going on behind closed doors. There are people who just do not want to get involved in other people’s lives. I get that. But sometimes you have to get beyond that and take a chance on what is right.

If we are blessed with a long and healthy life, we need to care for those who need our help. Just because someone seems fine one day does not always mean they will remain that way.

Kingman has many dedicated volunteers who help in many areas like the food banks, nursing homes and beyond. Those who need our help could be right next door, and we just tell ourselves they are fine. Maybe they are NOT fine, and no one else has noticed yet.

Mental illness can also play a part. The elderly are vulnerable to having issues come up very quickly. Good days and bad days can quickly escalate to something much more serious.

Don't be afraid to knock on someone’s door to make sure they are OK. We are all in this together, and we really do need each other.

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