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Friday 29 August 2014

Video: Don't forget elderly as big freeze bites

Ralph Riegel

Published 22/01/2013 | 05:00

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ELDERLY aid groups have urged people to check on pensioners during the Arctic weather.

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Age Action has urged communities to ensure their older, vulnerable neighbours remain safe and well in their homes until the cold snap ends.

"Cold weather can kill and does kill in Ireland, making the winter a particularly challenging period for older people in particular," Age Action official Eamon Timmins warned.

"Snow and ice make that challenge even greater as many older people may not be able to get out to buy food, fuel or medical supplies."

He said many elderly people appreciate the reassuring contact from a neighbour or relative even if help is not needed.

Over 2,000 more deaths occur in Ireland in the winter compared to the summer, with the cold being blamed.

Macra na Feirme's youth chairman, Ger Griffin, urged farmers with tractors and jeeps to take the initiative to check on elderly neighbours and offer to undertake food or fuel runs.

The elderly have been urged to ensure their homes are kept warm, that they eat hot food regularly and that, if concerned about the weather or their health, they immediately inform a neighbour, relative or friend.

Irish Independent

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