Winter Deaths on the Rise as Elderly Brace Themselves for a Harsh Winter 27 November 2015
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) this week released figures on the number of excess winter deaths in England last winter. And the figure - an estimated 43,900 - makes harsh reading for those involved in the care of an elderly loved one.
“This latest report reveals the highest number of deaths since 1999, and many of those affected were over 75,” says time4care managing director, Rob Dolbear. “Flu, in particular, is a real threat to those who are vulnerable - particularly during these harsh winter months. This is a worrying time of year for those who may not be in a position to check on relatives as often as they would like.
Anyone who is 65 or over is offered the opportunity of a flu jab - but the provisional figures from ONS suggest it may not be working as effectively as it has in the past. That, coupled with the fact that many are unaware of the importance of being vaccinated and some just cannot travel independently to their GP, is likely to have contributed to the number of people admitted to intensive care last year.
“If weather experts are correct, it looks as though we are in for a harsh winter. And cold temperatures are also a factor in the health of older people,” adds Rob Dolbear. “The sad reality is that, once again this year, many families will face the tragedy of losing a loved one - possibly needlessly early. But there is support out there for those who are concerned that an elderly relative may be at risk or can no longer live independently.
“Many of those we assist are not able to spend as much time looking out for those they love as they would like. Some live many miles away - or even abroad. And this time of year can be particularly stressful.
“More and more people find themselves in a situation where their elderly parent or parents can no longer cope. And this is not something people like to think or talk about. This may be the winter when they take the difficult decision to think about residential care. On top of the emotional aspects of a move like this, logistical concerns can seem a little overwhelming - particularly at this time of year.
“We created time4care to provide a complete assistance package for those faced with this kind of challenge. It is designed to help people decide on the right kind of care, guiding them through the entire process of moving their loved-ones with as little distress and disruption as possible for all concerned.”
time4care provides access to comprehensive care advice and complete support throughout. A dedicated liaison officer is on hand to oversee the entire process, including the sale of an existing property
“Making the right decisions about the type and standard of residential care to opt for is absolutely crucial,” says Rob. “Above all, it’s about making sure your parent or parents are as safe and well as they can possibly be - whatever the time of year.”