‘Don’t ignore people’: Charity’s reminder after two deaths go unnoticed for weeks

Long Lunch 17/10/2018
Photo: Unsplash.

The bodies of two elderly men were found weeks after they had passed away, reminding neighbourhoods across New Zealand to take stock of those who live nearby.

Police found the Hawke’s Bay men over two weeks after they had died.

Age Concern New Zealand CEO Stephanie Clare says it’s a critical reminder to be aware of those who live in the community.

“Know who lives in your area… Don’t ignore people… Don’t assume they want to be left to their own devices,” Ms Clare told RadioLIVE.

Ms Clare says a simple hello or a wave can go far in acknowledging the neighbours who live nearby.

“The call here is to look after each other. To not be nosy but to know what’s going on.”

Hawke’s Bay Police said the two cases were concerning for older members of the community, and are also calling on New Zealanders to connect with their neighbours.

While some believe it’s best for elderly citizens to live in rest homes, Ms Clare emphasises that living at home in a community is encouraged by Age Concern NZ.

“There’s nothing wrong with staying in your own home for as long as you want to stay in your own home.”

If you are concerned about your elderly neighbour seek advice from police or Age Concern.

Listen to the full interview with Stephanie Clare above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.