Who takes out the rubbish?
Paying it forwards*
What many people take for granted during their busy lives can take on a daunting significance for others. Take putting out the rubbish for example. For most of us it is just a chore but for some it can be like tightrope walking over the Niagara falls.
As people age or an infirmity progresses they often make incremental changes to ensure they are in control of their activity, maybe limiting their forays outdoors to times when it is daylight and they are suitably clothed for the weather or maybe making sure there is someone to see them in safely.
However when rubbish day arrives there is an expectation that the bins will be put out in the evening for the dustmen to pick up the next day. So all householders are encouraged to go out regardless of whether it is dark, wet or cold and to manœuvre a wheelie bin to a place where it is convenient for collection. As it should not take long there is a tendency for us not to think too much about what we are wearing, I think most of us have put the bin out wearing slippers from time to time.
As a catch-22, we have heard of people falling in their gardens putting the rubbish out and of people being taken into a care home because they have created a health hazard by not taking their rubbish out.
But just think about what would happen if you slipped and couldn't get up, especially in a place where no one can see you, perhaps by a passageway or behind a garden hedge. Of course we hope you’d be wearing an Assure and would be able to call for assistance, but prevention is better than cure and this is something that is so simple for us all to help with – we don’t even need to put it in our diaries.
If there is someone who you live near who might find putting their bins out difficult from time to time, why not offer to put their bins out when you do your own. It might add a few minutes to a weekly chore but it is these simple acts of kindness that can be so very important to someone and help make our neighbourhoods into communities.
* ‘Paying it forwards’ is the idea of being kind to people who may not be able to directly repay you. This is a way of honouring/repaying those who have helped you when you were not in a position to repay them directly.