Press Release

Minister Áine Brady urges care for older people during continuing severe cold spell


Áine Brady, T.D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, today (8th January 2010), urged older people to continue to take extra care during the current cold spell and asked the public to make a special effort to keep an eye on their older neighbours and relatives, particularly those living alone.

Urging older people to follow the advice in the recently published HSE information booklet ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ the Minister advised that older people should keep warm, eat well and avoid unnecessary travel. “Particular care should be taken due to the increased risk of falls as a result of icy footpaths and roads. People should call on elderly relatives and neighbours and ensure they have sufficient supplies of food and of any prescription drugs they may need. It is also important to ensure that older people have sufficient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in their homes.”

The HSE Information Line on 1850 24 1850 should be used to contact the Local Health Office or access services provided by Public Health Nurses or Community Welfare Officers (CWO). A CWO may be able to provide financial or other assistance in cases of exceptional need.

Also, those who may be very isolated, if in need of assistance, are advised to contact either their local authority, Garda Siochana, HSE or the Society of St.Vincent de Paul who will pass on any message to a response body such as perhaps civil defence if access is difficult.

Minister Brady also advised that social welfare pension payments collected from post offices are valid for up to 60 days and consequently will remain available for collection should they not be collected on the usual day.

The HSE information booklet ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ is available from the HSE Information Line on 1850 24 1850 or from the HSE website.

Contact details for Local Authorities may be found at the following page on the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government website.