Comment: This reminds us to be good neighbours

Have your say

the thoughts of everyone across the Capital will be with Elizabeth Iggulden today.

She is seriously ill in hospital after being found collapsed at her home in Portobello following the sudden death of her husband and devoted carer Douglas.

It is not clear at this stage how long Mrs Iggulden, who is in her 80s, had lain unable to call for help but there are concerns it may have been up to four days.

It might seem strange to think of her as lucky in these awful circumstances, but she may owe her life to the fact that someone noticed she and her husband had not been in touch and raised the alarm.

The particular circumstances surrounding Mr Iggulden’s death and the plight of his wife are heartbreaking. It is impossible to read about what has happened and not be touched by the couple’s devotion and their vulnerability in their old age.

Everyone will have someone of their own in mind, whether it is a loved one in a different town or perhaps a neighbour, when they think about how easily things like this can happen.

We all lead such busy lives and so often live in another part of the country from our closest family that it is easy to go for days or even weeks without speaking to loved ones.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to do about neighbours who we are concerned about. We don’t want to offend by offering help when it is not needed.

The advice from organisations like the NHS and the Red Cross is to put aside those fears and knock on their door. Ask if they are okay and if there is anything that they need which you could help with.

That advice will be particularly pertinent in the coming weeks as the winter closes in and the temperatures start to dip.

It is all about being a good neighbour, and we all know today more than ever before just how important that can be.