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2:22pm Saturday 17th January 2009 in Good neighbours
THE tragic case of a pensioner who died after being trapped in the bath for eight days shows we all need to be good neighbours, charities and council workers have said.
They spoke out after the Daily Echo revealed how 81-year-old Irene Vyse had lain in agony for more than a week before the alarm was finally raised.
She was rescued by police but died the following day of multiple organ failure, hypothermia and decomposition in both legs.
Few know the importance of checking on vulnerable people more than Southampton City Council’s neighbourhood and tower block wardens who spend their working life making sure the elderly and frail are safe and well.
The 55-strong team have thrown their weight behind the Daily Echo Good Neighbour Campaign. Senior warden Russell Standing said: “This terrible case shows good neighbours are absolutely vital and I am delighted to back the campaign.
“It is sad that society seems to have lost that sense of community that it had years ago. Just something like taking out an older person’s rubbish or getting them a pint of milk can mean so much.
“Sadly lots of people just want to keep themselves to themselves and stay in their own little bubble – we need to pop that bubble.”
It was not just the wardens who have joined the fight. Help the Aged charity field operations manager Paula McCarthy said: “The story of this 81-year-old makes me very, very sad. I think the Daily Echo Good Neighbour Campaign is a wonderful idea and we are definitely happy to throw our full support behind it.
“If people support this campaign a lot of older people would be less vulnerable, have better links to the outside world if they needed anything and have more of a sense of self worth if they were almost part of an extended family.”