Cherish and protect elderly

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I WONDER what thoughts other people had if, and when, they read the report in the Herald of the death of the elderly gentleman who proudly would not accept offers of help, nor ask for the benefits to which he was, at 94 years of age, automatically entitled.

He was not receiving any outside help, he had fallen but had had no treatment.

His friend who visited once a week must have tried to give him the contacts that he needed.

The pathologist called the cause of death self-inflicted. The doctor had noted that he was malnourished.

What does this tell us about the society we live in? It is particularly relevant as we are coming into a period of time when people are going to be fighting for disability benefits and living allowances.

This gentleman was reported to talk a lot of the war, at 94 years of age, he could only have been speaking of the Second World War.

Born in 1917 – he would have been 27-years-old at the outbreak of the Second World War, but only three at the beginning of the first World War.

He outlived his relations and friends, and it sounds as though he had no family left.

As he was reported as always talking about the war, he must have been active and presumably useful to his country.

Where was the support for him in his old age? He did not want to go into the hospital as he thought he would never get home again (one sees his point), but we know the policy has been to keep the elderly at home because it costs less.

We have Neighbourhood Watch to protect our domestic consumables, but very little to protect and cherish our elderly.

It would not take much to survey every household, if the Council when they sent our council tax shaded an area near our own houses, on a map, and asked us to overlook folks of a certain age and frailty.

No need to be nosey – just be aware and phone in any signs of an elderly person who needs some care. I would rather have a scheme like this than a royal yacht.

JOCELYN McCARTHY

Dominica Court