Vulnerable urged to sign-up for an emergency alarm

VULNERABLE elderly people are being urged to sign up for personal emergency alarms after a 90-year-old woman found herself stranded on the floor for almost a week.

The pensioner had suffered the fall at her home in Polegate and it was only after two police community support officers noticed something awry that she was rescued from the floor.

Age Concern Eastbourne praised the quick-thinking PCSOs and promoted Careline alarms which can be used in such desperate situations.

The warning system contacts an operator who can send alerts to either family, friends, neighbours or emergency services.

Chief executive of Age Concern Eastbourne Clive Wormald said, “Clearly for an older person living on their own if they don’t have friends or family nearby, and it does happen, then clearly if they have a fall. You hear these terrible stories of people dying at home and not being found for weeks.

“These personal alarms are to try and stop that from happening. If they cannot get to the front door or telephone it can call someone for them.”

PCSO Ali Beaden and PCSO Simon French were delivering leaflets, advertising a police and council initiative which was due to take place in a nearby road, when they became concerned about the milk bottles and post which had stacked up at the pensioner’s property.

After establishing that the milk had been left for almost a week and neighbours had not seen the lady for a while, they called for assistance so the door could be forced.

Officers broke into the property and found the elderly woman on the floor leaning against a door and in a great deal of distress. She is believed to have been on the floor for at least five days with nothing to eat or drink and was dehydrated.

The lady was taken to Eastbourne DGH, where she has been since May 20. She is said to be in a comfortable state.

Wealden District Commander Dick Coates said, “I am immensely proud of the quick thinking of my officers.

“This is another reason why we believe so strongly in neighbourhood policing. Forging links within the community ensures we can make Wealden a safer place to live.”

Dick Coates also offered advice following the PCSOs’ life-saving actions. He said, “I would urge friends and neighbours to check on the elderly and vulnerable, especially if you haven’t seen them for a couple of days.”

To find out more about care alarms visit Age Concern Eastbourne at the Venton Centre in Junction Road or call CarelineUK on 0845 4345057.