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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020

'We must be more vigilant': Body of pensioner lay undiscovered in house for seven months

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Image: Shutterstock/linerpics

A VOLUNTEER WORKER who has assisted the elderly for decades has urged the public to watch out for their neighbours after the body of a pensioner lay undiscovered in a house on the north side of Cork city for at least seven months.

The body of the man was found in a house in the city last week. His remains were taken to Cork University Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

The death is not being treated as suspicious and an inquest is expected to be heard later this year in relation to the tragic incident.

The pensioner was found dead in his house after a concerned person called to his home as he hadn’t been seen in some time.

Paddy O’Brien, a well-known campaigner for the elderly, has called on communities to be vigilant in terms of checking up on vulnerable neighbours.

“We must be more vigilant. That is the word I am going to use continuously in relation to care of the aged and to avoid death,” O’Brien said. 

“It is very sad for a person to die alone in a house. It is very important that elderly people, especially those living alone, should have their own personal alarm system. It is actually free of charge for 12 months.”

It is understood that the man who passed away was well-liked in the area but kept to himself. His funeral arrangements are to be finalised in the coming days.

Falling through the cracks

Last May the body of a man in his seventies was found in an apartment in Cork city. It is understood his remains lay undiscovered in the apartment for up to six months. He died from natural causes and his death was treated as a tragedy. 

Following the death earlier this year Paddy O’Brien called for visiting committees to be set up for elderly people who are falling through the cracks.

Meanwhile, pensioners who feel vulnerable in their homes are urged to avail of support services. The Senior Helpline is a free confidential helpline for the elderly. 

Senior Line is a programme of the not-for-profit agency, Third Age. Its CEO Aine Brady says there are approximately 160,000 people aged 65+ living alone in Ireland.

She insists the telephone can be a “lifeline” to many senior citizens.

It offers contact, conversation and companionship. Volunteers are trained to listen empathetically to each call, and to give each caller the time they need to talk through any problems.

Lines are open every day from 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year, including Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day. 

Senior Line’s Freefone number is 1800 80 45 91.

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About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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