Source : Age NI
Published on 25 March 2013 04:00 PM
As the adverse weather continues, Age NI is urging people to help warm up Northern Ireland by checking in on older friends and neighbours and making sure they have everything they need.
Professor Brendan McCormack, Age NI Chair, commented, 'As the poor weather looks set to continue for a while longer, we need to make sure that our older friends and neighbours are looked after. Cold weather is a huge source of worry to older people, posing increased health risks, loneliness and depression, as well as the financial pressure of escalating energy bills in order to stay warm.
'Many older people really struggle during extreme weather conditions like those we are currently facing. Snow and ice can stop people getting in and out of their homes. The thought of a trip or a fall can make people afraid to venture out of the house. Even getting to the shops to make sure that there’s enough food in the house can be difficult.
'Almost half of older people in Northern Ireland feel more isolated than ever before, and weather like this can exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Add to that the possibility of electricity failure, or problems with home-heating and it’s clear why many older people struggle. But, we can all do something to help.
'We have a duty of care to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society are supported at difficult times. A small gesture can often make a huge difference and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to be a good friend or neighbour and make sure that someone you know is well and coping with the adverse weather:
'Age NI would also advise older people themselves to take some simple steps to stay warm, well and safe in the coming days:
'There’s a lot more information on supporting older people to stay warm, well and connected in the Age NI guide, Winter Wrapped Up which is available at www.ageni.org/wrappedup
't doesn’t cost a thing to be kind, so wherever you are in Northern Ireland, please make sure that an older person you know gets all the help that they need.'
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