Look out for the elderly and vulnerable this winter

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Look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours as the days get colder and the nights get darker, in the hope they don’t get stranded or go hungry during periods of bad weather.

That’s the ‘Ready for Winter’ message this week from East Dunbartonshire Council.

The council is joining forces with the Scottish Government in a national campaign to keep residents as safe as possible throughout the winter months.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie told the Herald: “Winter can be a terrible time for elderly people and isolation can increase as they are less able to get out and about.

“All we are asking people is to be good neighbours and look out for others if bad weather strikes.

“Little things can make all the difference, like asking them if they need any shopping or taking their bin out for them if it’s snowy or icy. Severe weather can strike quickly and catch people out, but by being good neighbours we can prevent others from going hungry or even getting hurt.”

Here’s how you can play your part in making your community more prepared:

nIdentify family members or neighbours who may need an extra helping hand if severe weather strikes.

nHave their phone numbers to hand.

nOffer to help with grocery shopping or other essential tasks.

nClear ice or snow from pathways.

nVolunteer to help others by visiting www.volunteerscotland.org.uk.

nIf you are part of a community group, think about what your group can do to help others during bad weather.

Councillor Geekie added: “I would encourage those with elderly or vulnerable neighbours to take a few minutes now to knock on their door, to offer your help over winter.

“If they are happy to, swap numbers so that if really bad weather does come you can get in touch easily.

“It’s also important that you get in touch with us if you are worried about a neighbour – our care team can go and check on them. Obviously you would call 999 if it was an emergency situation.

“It’s just about keeping an eye out for them, particularly those who don’t have family nearby or regular visitors.”

If you are worried about a neighbour, please call 0300 123 4510 and ask to speak to our care team.