Irish Rural Link – the national network representing the interest of rural communities is urging people to check in on elderly neighbours during the festive season.
Christmas can very often be a lonely time for people, especially for older people living alone who may not have family or may not be with family at this time of year.
The organisation is urging people to be extra mindful of elderly and other vulnerable neighbours at this time and not to presume that their family is with them, that they have gone to family or friends for the Christmas or that another neighbour has looked in on them.
It is also the time of year when elderly people are more susceptible to catching cold and flu and may not be able to get out and about. People should also be mindful of this and drop in on such neighbours even if to ensure they have enough fuel and food.
It is also encouraging older people living on their own to contact their neighbours if they are in need and not to be afraid of disturbing or interrupting them. As ever, it is reminding the elderly to keep heat on if the weather turns very cold and to keep warm and also wear apersonal alarm if they have one and make sure it is working properly.
To head off break-ins or robberies, Irish Rural Link is also urging people to be vigilant of any suspicious behaviour and to use text alert and neighbourhood watch schemes if available in your area.