Fear of falling on icy pavements traps elderly indoors

Editorial image
Editorial image

Freezing and icy weather conditions make older people feel isolated more than ever.

Fears of slipping and tripping prevent older men and women from getting out of the house. This can lead to the onset of mild depression which, in turn, further limits a person’s independence.

This week’s snow, which is forecast to return tomorrow, has led national charity Living Streets to warn people of the dangers of icy pavements and the risk of vulnerable people being stranded in their homes.

According to the charity, two thirds of people aged over 65 say icy pavements are one of the main concerns stopping them from leaving their home.

Living Streets chief executive officer Joe Irvin, said: “We hear a lot about the importance of gritting and making roads safe for drivers but pavements and people who travel on foot are often overlooked.

“This winter we are asking members of the public to think about those who are more vulnerable.”

The charity is appealing for members of the public to register as Snow Angels - able people who ‘clear the way’ for those less mobile - in the Calderdale area.

To volunteer see livingstreets.org.uk

Calderdale Council say it is essential they continue to deliver services to vulnerable people.

Pippa Corner, head of partnerships and personalisation at Calderdale Council, said: “It’s essential that we continue to deliver services to vulnerable people. We plan carefully to make sure we are prepared during the bad weather so older people can stay warm and well within their own home.

“We work closely with our partners - nurses, community and neighbourhood staff, voluntary groups, luncheon clubs and day centres to identify and provide extra support to vulnerable people wherever this is needed.”

The council runs and ‘Our Out of Hours’ service which provides night care. The team uses council vehicles which are designed to cope with wintry conditions.

“This ensures that during bad weather we are able to provide services to vulnerable people, even if they live in remote places or side streets which can become hazardous in poor weather.

“We also ask people to check on their vulnerable neighbours, and offer to do shopping if needed. If anyone is concerned about a vulnerable person they should call us at Gateway to Care on 01422 393000,” said Pippa.