Following on from the last post about how Doreen Mann from Southend who got stuck in her bath for 4 days, I think it’s important we keep and eye elderly this winter.
If we are lucky we can all live to a ripe old age, but that means many of us will end up alone. Our children might not be living in the same area and our spouses may have died. So for a lot of our elderly it’s a lonely and worrying time.
Facts about our elderly population
- There are now 11.6 million people aged 65 or over living in the UK and it’s expected to pass the 20 million mark by 2030.
- 5 million of these are 65+ and living alone. This is 36% of all people aged 65+.
- Nearly 70% of these are women.
- 2 million people over 75 live alone with 1.5 million of these being women.
- 61% of widows (male and female) in England and Wales are aged 75 and over
These stats are from Age UK found here. Some of the stats are pretty tough to read. For instance 25,000 could die prematurely from the cold this winter. That is 200 preventable deaths a day!
What can we do?
Well if you have an elderly relative who lives alone; make sure they understand the risks of wearing more clothing when the temperature drops. Make sure their heating is adequate and they stay home on the really cold days.
Making sure there house is eldlery friendly and they have a safe bathroom. We can help in terms of bathroom adaptations. We have been installing the best walk in baths and showers for over 25 years and understand the issues seniors havewith mobility issues and the like.
If its just keeping an eye on your elderly relatives, there is the technology out there to help these days. Home monitoring cameras can be bought quite cheaply and set up. It’s a fast growing industry where there are lots of devices and apps which can help monitor our elderly.
There is also the Age UK personal Alarm service which costs £69 then £3.47 per week. It’s a 24 hour alarm which uses a base station that connects to Age UK’s 24-hour emergency response centre.
We also need to keep our wits about us and follow our instincts. Like in the previous post where Doreen was stuck in a bath for 4 days. Had it not been for the smart actions of the restaurant worker who realised her regular customer hadn’t showed up for a few days, it’s hard to image what would have happened to Doreen. Luckily thanks to this restaurant worker, the police found Doreen and rescued her from her bath.
Check on your neighbours. If you have elderly neighbours who you see daily, but don’t see them for a few days, pop round and see if they are ok. They could could be stuck. Hopefully they are safe and well, but they will appreciate the fact you cared enough to check. And if you have the time, sit and have a cup of tea with them. Remember it could be you one day, if your lucky to live that long.