Monday 19 March 2018

Pensioners warned of hypothermia dangers during cold winter

PENSIONERS living alone are at risk, according to a leading charity
PENSIONERS living alone are at risk, according to a leading charity

Ryan Nugent

PENSIONERS living alone are at risk of hypothermia, according to a leading charity – after an elderly person was taken from their home with hypothermia in the capital.

Dublin Fire Brigade responded to an issue in Dolphins Barn and took the pensioner to hospital.

In a separate incident in the city, a person described as “vulnerable” was also taken to hospital.

A spokesperson for the fire service called on neighbours of elderly people to keep an extra eye out, saying they are most vulnerable at this time of the year.

“We do seem to be getting a few more, it’s just the weather getting colder, and then people on the streets,” he said.

“That particular one was in the house,” he added.

Gerry Scully of Age Action Ireland told the Herald that there are a number of debilitating factors to be taken into account.

He recommended that older people get ‘person’ alarms to ensure they are taken care of if there is an issue such as this.

“If you live close to someone that may seem vulnerable or might be isolated then you might drop in regularly to make sure they’re all right,” Mr Scully said.

“The person alarm is not just in case you fall, if you are feeling ill or you’re feeling drowsy, you can press the button and alert somebody that there is an issue, there is a problem.

“That’s something they should certainly consider getting.

“A lot of older people do live alone and that makes them particularly vulnerable to things like hypothermia and particularly older people perhaps not being able to heat their homes or being afraid to heat their homes because of bills,” he added.

Mr Scully also explained that older homes with poor insulation could cause issues.

“They tend to live in older housing stock where insulation isn’t as good, particularly around windows and doors,” he said.

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