The final week of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s SAME Again campaign focuses on elderly people and social isolation.
Being elderly has been one of the top four factors in fatal fires over the last ten-year period we looked at. It’s a chilling fact that 73 per cent of people who died in house fires were aged 65 or older. For that reason, we’re urging people to look out for elderly people living in our communities.
A touching video released by the Service shows an elderly woman who has spent a number of lonely Christmases finally getting the visit she’s been longing for. The aim of the film is to show the importance of making sure elderly people who live alone are visited regularly; partly so they have company but also to ensure they are safe.
Director of Prevent and Protect Glynn Luznyj said: “Being elderly has been one of the top four factors in fatal fires over the last ten-year period we looked at. It’s a chilling fact that 73 per cent of people who died in house fires were aged 65 or older. For that reason, we’re urging people to look out for elderly people living in our communities.
“It’s an unpleasant fact that, as we get older, our mobility may suffer and we may find it harder to get about, this in turn may lead to social isolation which is something that affects a large number of elderly people. For reasons such as reduced mobility, ill health or bereavement, older people may find that their social circle gets smaller and they have fewer visitors than they used to. This can also be a contributing factor as many of the people who have died in fires lived alone. If this describes someone you know then a quick visit could make a huge difference to them. You could use the once-a-week test of their smoke alarm as an excuse to call in and while you’re there, you could make sure they aren’t overloading their sockets or using an unsafe electric blanket. If they have a coal fire you could check they’re using their fire guard.
“There are lots of things that can be picked up on a brief visit. If you think they might benefit from it, you could also book a Safe and Well visit on their behalf by contacting our Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999 and quoting SAME.”