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  • Where is the outcry?

    Last year, according to figures realeased by Help the Aged, 21,800 old people died from cold related illnesses! Today on tv it was claimed that 2,000 deaths are expected this week, caused by cold.



    A truly sad story was about the elderly couple who were found dead in each other's arms three months after their gas supply was cut off for non payment. It seems the husband was under the impression that DSS was sorting things out for him. They managed to live for three months without heating or means of cooking their meals.



    What is wrong with this country? :rant: How can the government sit back, spend billions on an illegal war and let our poor and elderly die from hypothermia because they cannot afford to heat their homes? Many of those elderly worked all their lives, paid their dues and are now discarded to the scrap heap!



    I think it is utterly disgraceful that a supposedly civilized country can allow this to happen. Don't old people have a right to life any more? Even the most hardened criminal in prison gets three meals a day and a warm bed to sleep in. :rant: We feed and house thousands of people who come to this country seeking asylum. And still we let our elderly die in poverty and from cold.



    What message does this send out? That the eldery poverty sticken members of our society are not worth the effort! No wonder we see young thugs taking out their aggression on this vulnerable section of our society!



    We'll all be old one day (some sooner than others) and some will fall through the 'safety net' (you know the one with all the holes!) and after a lifetime of work we will be able to look forward to death from hypothermia. What a wonderful coutnry we live in!!



    Misty
    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

  • #2
    I have to say that it's a disgrace that anyone should die of hypothermia in Britain today. Yes, the government has it's place in this - although there are state benefits that should, in theory, ensure that this doesn't happen (e.g. Minimum Income Guarantee, Winter Fuel Payments which will cover winter fuel bills). However, many elderly people are unaware that they are entitled to certain benefits, and some are too proud/private about their financal affairs to claim them. Which leads us to who draws someone's attention to the fact that they may have entitlements to help they aren't receiving?



    The government should ensure a system where every person over pension age is visited, and has their possible entitlements explained to them, and the forms filled in for them, if necesary. As a wider society, we don't value elderly people, don't feel we have any responsibility for those who may be isolated/lonely, and often, not even for our own relatives. A sad indictment.



    Not the Season of Good Cheer for everyone, eh?





    Sapph

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    • #3
      I dont know how true this is, I will have to investigate...I am sure I heard that the elderly couple that died apparently had £20k in the bank and were told the DSS couldnt help. further more the gas supply had actually been cut off in August.



      so there might be more to this than meets the eye...however i will have another scout round to make sure im not talking nonsense.



      the story reminded me of being a kid it seemed back then it was routine for elderly people to die from hyperthermia,because they were too frightened of the cost of paying their heating bills. it is outrageous elderly people should contInue to be worrying about this in this day and age. :angry:



      i think they should be given subsidised bills...i know some of them get the 'winter payment' of £100, but i think they shouldnt have to pay any VAT.



      I thought it was abit much when i heard some bloke on the radio saying the elderly should plan better for cold weather. i mean if you havent got enough money to buy more clothes or pay your bills what the heck are you supposed to do? :rant:
      http://bestsmileys.com/sparkle/1.gif



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      • #4
        Yes, I was very saddened and angry about this story.



        I mean, Britain is the fourth richest economy in the world - and it's senior citizens die of the cold!! It is unbelievable in this, the 21st century. Does this happen in other 'first world' countries?



        I only caught the tail end of this story on the news - how come the gas was cut off? I mean, who decided it was permissable to do this? Surely there should be some check on the occupiers of the homes that get disconnected first to see if the people are old/sick/disabled/vulnerable, in fact, I don't think anyone should be just disconnected. Being cold has such awful effects on health.



        If people can't pay their gas bills, then for goodness sake let them have heating in the winter and help them sort out their bills in the summer.



        Mrs B
        BE BOLSHY - RECLAIM YOUR GARDEN!

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        • #5
          Yes I only heard a little bit about this too.



          From the little I know, I found it complete nonsense that the gas company couldn't contact Social Services due to data protection. It's complete rubbish! In these situations, I would have thought they'd be OBLIGED to make checks like this first, and the Act certainly has scope for this :rant:



          I found it a real jaw dropper this a.m when I heard the statistics about cold and death relationship...It does make me wonder though because there is a lot more help and assistance out there now for pensioners - it does seem that this info doesn't actually seem to be getting through to those that it applies to though

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          • #6
            Today on tv it was claimed that 2,000 deaths are expected this week, caused by cold.


            I saw something about this on the news today and I think they also said that deaths in the UK due to cold were higher than in Russia and Finland.



            :blink:



            Keep well, keep warm.

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            • #7
              the news wasnt just about the elderly



              lots of people die in this cold weather, one group are people being those who go out clubbing at xmas, the xmas party and such like, out in shirt sleeves, nice warm pub, home in cold, cant feel it due to the beer and vodka shots in their bellies, fall asleep in a hedge or catch a nasty flu thing etc....



              the news said we do not prepare for the cold weather and its worse whe we have short cold snaps, like last week end, warm trhen cold, we wear the wrong clothes and are not prepared for it.



              take care everyone this winter please! put another jumper on and eat a good range of warm foods!!!

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              • #8
                Didn't realise I was at such high risk Beth....the clubbing/vodka bit, not my age! . Will try to avoid any hedges :P



                And, when have you known me to put a warm jumper on :lol:. Still in open shoes and sandals yet too! :P



                Sapph

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                • #9
                  Years ago, families lived in the same village or town for generations. Then, in 1979, we got the: "Go where the jobs are" edicts.



                  This forgot that in doing so, families would be split up, parents would be left in a village in a mountainous part of Wales -for example- while their family members followed jobs in all parts of the UK.



                  The same desire to wreck communities and society (remember? There is no such thing as society?") also lead directly to an major increase in neighbours from hell.



                  And now, those small communities or districts are being further hit with post offices being closed, schools shut and public transport further slashed.



                  No government has cared about community for the past 25 years at least. :badmood:

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                  • #10
                    This is what happens when we allow governments to introduce the nanny state. Neighboured makes some very valid points.



                    Years ago people looked after their own families and the community rallied round in times of need. Even in large cities there would be various communites, almost like villages within cities. People would be born, grow up and die in the same area. I suppose for some it was claustrophobic because people seemed to know all about you but it was also a good thing because your absence was noticed and questions would be asked.



                    But then the governments wanted to dictate every area of our lives so people, instead of looking to each other, looked to government to solve the ills of the country. Of course governments don't care about individuals and safety nets are a figment of the imagination. Small communities can tailor their resources to reflect the needs of individuals. Governments have to think on a much bigger scale and individuals are all lumped together in one amorphous mass of need. And it's easy to get lost in a crowd.



                    In some ways the nanny state is a good thing but there's always a downside. What you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts.



                    Misty
                    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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                    • #11
                      Maybe 'nanny state' is a journalistic cliche but it's well deserved. I agree with you that the welfare state is a good thing. But it is also ripe for abuse by some.



                      You mention in the past that if a girl got pregnant she was stigmatised. That's true and there were relatively few 'unwed/single mothers. Now we have a large population of teenage mothers, many of whom cannot properly look after their children and get no help at all from fathers. This leads to antisocial behaviour, children being neglected and all sorts of other ills. The state acts as breadwinner for these people.



                      Yes, workhouses were appalling and nobody in their right mind would want to see them back. The most vulnerable were usually the inmates and people would do almost anything not to have to live in one. Would the workshy of today be more likely to find work if they had those to look forward to?



                      Infant mortality rates were high, yes, but we've had advances in medical knowledge since the bad old days. People nowadays live in more hygenic conditions with indoor plumbing. The TB rate, btw, is rising and some strains cannot be treated with antibiotics. Maybe because doctors have for years been handing them out like sweets to people who think they don't need to finish the course but wanted them because 'they had a right to them'.



                      You talk of free healthcare and education. Sorry, it's not free, it's paid for by the taxpayer. It is free to those who use it but somebody has to pay.



                      If as you say it's not about governments, voted in by us (well the minority of us because far too many people won't vote) to reflect our priorities, then maybe we should be calling it the 'bad parent state'. Bad parents give their kids what they want because they think it will keep them quiet. And if those governments are reflecting our priorities why do we have to keep voting? Maybe they'll tell you, when they want your vote, that they'll represent you, but once in power they do as they want so no, I don't think governments reflect our priorities.



                      You are right about this being a selfish society. However there are lots of people, yourself included, who are willing to help others. But there will always be the ones who just want to take and if government keeps giving they'll never change. Politicians too are selfish, they'll say anything to get elected!



                      There are other countries where 'the nanny state' does not exist, they seem to do quite well. Of course there will always be those who complain that they're not getting what they deserve but they're usually the ones that have never been taught to give.



                      But all in all, if we each looked around and identified areas where we could help, even in some little way, the world would be a better place. Of course we might end up being called busy bodies and nosy parkers. Swings and slides!



                      Misty
                      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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                      • #12
                        You can have my vote Misty

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