LONELINESS is the greatest single problem confronting the elderly population at Christmas time, advocate for older people Paddy O’Brien has said.
Mr O’Brien, who organises the annual Over-60’s talent competition, said many elderly in Cork have been abandoned by their families and makes Christmas an exceptionally sad and lonely time.
”There are elderly people who will be forgotten about by their own family members,” he said.
“The aged who I am referring to have been disowned, abandoned and forgotten about by their very own sons and daughters. I speak to Senior Citizens and they tell me what they are experiencing when they are not visited by their family members.
Some of these people are residents in Nursing Homes and many more live alone in their own homes.
“Over the past week, I have spoken to elderly people who wish Christmas was all over. It is sad for the simple reason that the heartbreak and loneliness they are experiencing has been inflicted on them by their very own who have disowned them.”
Mr O’Brien said that care for the elderly is now a much larger issue and called for more public health nurses and home help hours in particular.
“There are for more elderly now in each area throughout the city and county. The aged are living longer but we do not have sufficient Public Health Nurses out on the district caring for them.
“What I see as I visit some elderly in their own homes the home help scheme must be expanded to cover night time hours.”
“It is morally wrong to have sick elderly old people caring for themselves at night time.”
“These people are trying to administer their own medication and I feel it is a miracle that we do not have fatalities. As a result of no home help hours at night.”