Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lonely deaths... again

Sadly, in NSW, Australia there are more elderly deaths being discovered long after they have died. I wrote about this back in Feb (Lonely deaths!) after the 6th person had been found. Some had been dead 8 months. Now another decomposed body has been found.

Some changes are desperately needed in our society. My mother is 89 this year and my brother calls her every morning to make sure she is okay. If Mum does not pick up the phone he drives out to check on her. Something of this sort is good to do. Where the elderly person has no family then perhaps community services or some welfare agency could to set up a system of phoning each day to make sure that the person living alone is okay.

Today's lonely death is in today's SMH. Let's do something to change this terrible circumstance in a lonely person's life!

Elderly woman's decomposed body found

March 7, 2006 - 6:14AM

Advice from the NSW government to take care of neighbours has come too late for an elderly woman whose decomposed body has been found in her north Sydney home.

Police and NSW Fire Brigades officers found the body of the 86-year-old woman at her home on St John's Avenue in Gordon about 7.30pm (AEDT) yesterday, a police spokesman said.

Worried neighbours called police because they had not spoken to her since January.

The discovery of the woman's body is the seventh in only a month.

The bodies of six NSW residents were discovered in similar circumstances in just two weeks last month.

Some of the bodies were decomposed, having been undiscovered for up to eight months.

The latest discovery was made just hours before the state government announced a campaign this morning to encourage public housing tenants to look out for one another after the spate of gruesome discoveries.

Housing Minister Cherie Burton also announced $200,000 in extra funding over two years for a community development project at the Northcott building in Surry Hills.

"Public housing tenants should take responsibility for the future of their communities - and that includes being a good neighbour," Ms Burton said.

"Taking care of your neighbours is something we need to do more as a community and as a community we all need to make more effort."

She said things neighbours could do to keep in touch with each other included looking out for a build-up of mail in letterboxes, organising social activities and inviting people in for a cup of tea.


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