Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lonely deaths!

NSW in Australia is having a spate of deaths of elderly people which are not being discovered for months. This is quite sad!

Community life has been declining over many years. I remember as a child, everybody knew everybody. We did not need to lock our doors at night. If someone needed help, it was readily available within the community. I can't imagine a death going unnoticed for more than a day... someone would have been checking. We've lost something precious. Now, who feels safe?

Here's the sad litany:

1) A 62-year-old man was found dead on February 12 in the Northcott apartments in Surry Hills. He's been dead about 6 months.

2) A 79-year-old-woman's mail had been piling up at Umina Beach post office since last August. She was found dead after 6 months. The discovery of a man's skeleton in Sydney had alerted postal workers on the Central Coast that there may be a similar tragedy in their neighbourhood. Read it here.

3) On Sunday (Feb 19), police found the body of Peter Newman, 63, in a Waterloo housing commission block. His death went unnoticed for eight months by housing officials. Mr Newman, who lived in a single-bedroom unit on the 15th floor, was the third elderly person in NSW in a fortnight to die alone.
Read about it here.

4) Now an old couple have found dead next to each other in bed in their Watson Street unit at Neutral Bay on Sydney's North Shore. They'd been married 65 years. A note was found and police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before deciding whether the deaths were suicide. Police said the 82-year-old husband had been ill for some years, possibly with a terminal condition, and his wife, 78, had also been unwell.
Read about it here.

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