Look after your neighbours plea

BE a good neighbour and keep a watchful eye on elderly people living near you this winter was the message today from charities working for senior citizens in Suffolk.

BE a good neighbour and keep a watchful eye on elderly people living near you this winter was the message today from charities working for senior citizens in Suffolk.

The plea came after an incident in which police had to break in to a pensioner's home in Felixstowe after a concerned friend looked through her letterbox and saw her lying in the hallway.

It is understood the woman, in her 90s, had collapsed on New Year's Day and had been lying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs unconscious for two days until she was discovered.

Officers forced an entry to flat at the Cheveley apartments in Tomline Road, Felixstowe, where they found the woman – who has not been named – in a "poorly condition". She was taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment.


You may also want to watch:


Police said the situation was not uncommon and they are often called to break in to homes where elderly people have been taken ill or have fallen and are unable to call for help.

On the same day as the woman was found at Cheveley, officers also attended a property in High Road, Walton, after neighbours became concerned.

Most Read

Helen Taylor, information manager for Age Concern Suffolk, said: "We would encourage people to be a good neighbour throughout the year and get to know their older neighbours.

"However, it is during the short hours of daylight at this time of year, when you are less likely to see your neighbours, that we would encourage everyone to look out for warning signs.

"For example, curtains not opened during the day or no lights on during the evening, may indicate that something is wrong.

"Try knocking on your neighbour's door or telephoning them. If you cannot get a reply then contact a relative or friend who you think may have a key."

She added that if people have serious grounds for concern, then they should dial 999 to contact the emergency services.

One of the biggest concerns during this time of the year is the cold. Help The Aged said that last year 21,500 people over 65 died in England and Wales as a result of the cold.

The majority of the deaths were from respiratory or cardio-vascular ailments caused or made worse by exposure to the cold, either indoors or outdoors.

As a percentage of the overall seasonal increase in deaths, few people actually die of hypothermia.

The majority of deaths were from heart attacks, strokes, bronchial and other conditions, often occurring several days after the initial exposure to the cold.

WEBLINKS: www.helptheaged.org.uk

www.ageconcern.org.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter