AGE ACTION IS urging people to remember their elderly neighbours living alone following the national weather warning issued by Met Eireann.
Communities can play their part by visiting the elderly to ensure they have enough provisions such as food, fuel or medical supplies as extreme cold temperatures can have a serious affect on them.
With snow and ice expected in 12 counties and predictions of snow accumulations of between three and eight centimetres across the country, those living alone or with limited mobility and health issues can particularly be at risk.
“These kind of weather conditions are difficult for everyone, but they are especially challenging for older people, and older people living alone,” Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said.
Age Action says older people can also play a role in ensuring they remain well and warm in their homes by maintaining a comfortable temperature in the rooms they are living in.
“The cold can kill, and does kill in Ireland,” Mr Timmins said. “Between 1,500 and 2,000 excess deaths occur during the winter in Ireland, compared to the summer. Many of these are older people who die as a result of respiratory illness or cardiovascular disease. The cold weather, inadequate heating, low incomes and poorly insulated homes are contributory factors in some of these deaths.”