Charity urges Louth communities to take care of elderly neighbours during upcoming extreme cold weather

Weather chiefs are saying that Louth could be hit by a red weather warning

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Elderly person hand

ALONE are urging people to check in with elderly neighbours over the cold spell

Dublin charity ALONE is urging older people to take extra care as Louth braces itself to be hit by an extreme cold spell this week. The charity has also issued an appeal to members of the public to look out for older people in their community who may live alone during the extreme weather which is expected to bring heavy snowfall to Louth and the rest of Ireland this week.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE advised: “Cold temperatures can have a serious effect on many older people, in particular, those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility. 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."

He added: "5% of Irish people aged over 65 who lived alone were unable to keep their homes adequately warm in 2012. This figure jumped to 9.8% in 2013.

"Given that 50% of Excess Winter Deaths (EWDs) experienced in Ireland can be linked to poor thermal efficiency in the dwellings[2], ALONE is urging older people to take extra care and encouraging those who are concerned about their own well-being during the cold weather to call for assistance and help if needed.”

He continued, “Following a very serious cold weather forecast by Met Éireann we are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs.

"We’re advising older people to stay warm in the cold weather by ensuring they have adequate home heating, wearing layers of light but warm clothing, eating at least one hot meal a day and staying indoors where possible.”

ALONE is also encouraging older people to  prioritise  their spending on heating during the cold weather.

If you are struggling to keep up with utilities bills, you can contact your utilities company to set up a payment plan. 

ALONE has volunteers and staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, or medication. 

Further information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie.

Local weather expert Louth Weather has made the grim prediction that a National Red Warning will hit the country later this week. 

In a Facebook update this morning, Louth Weather also said "this could well turn out to be a week we will remember for quite a while."

READ MORE: www.dundalkdemocrat.ie/news/home/299087/louth-weather-national-red-warning-likely-later-in-the-week.html