Caution needed as snow thaws

ALONE warns older people of fall hazard
  • Deborah Condon

Older people have been warned to be particularly cautious over the coming days as the remainder of the snow and ice clears.

According to ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, while older people may think that the roads and paths are safe now, thawing snow and slush can be a major fall hazard.

It is urging people to take extra care if going out, as a fall could lead to a fracture, which can have long-term consequences.

"The most dangerous fracture is a hip fracture and sadly up to 24% of patients who suffer a hip fracture die within a year, 33% are totally dependent or in a nursing home and only 40% can live independently at home," explained ALONE CEO, Sean Moynihan.

He thanked everyone who looked out for older people during the extreme weather conditions and asked them to continue to check in on those members of the community who may still need help.

"A visit from a friend, family member or neighbour to check on an older person's heating levels, food supplies and security, as well as to simply offer some company, can make a huge difference," Mr Moyhihan said.

He also thanked all the staff and volunteers for their hard work in recent days. A total of 60 staff and volunteers have been on call since Thursday and phone contact was made with 1,000 older people to check that they were confortable.

Sixty older people contacted the charity themselves seeking support and ALONE members made 20 visits to older people to assist with heat, food and medication.

ALONE can still assist on all of these issues. Anyone with queries should call (01) 679 1032.


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