ALONE is urging older people to take extra care, and their neighbours to check in on them, during the forecasted cold weather.
“Following the cold weather forecast by Met Éireann we are calling on
all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living
alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to stay
warm in the cold weather by ensuring they have adequate home heating,
wearing layers of light but warm clothing, eating at least one hot meal a
day and staying indoors where possible,” said Seán Moynihan, CEO,
He went on to explain that the damaging effects of cold weather are not always seen straight away.
“A variety of health problems can arise afterwards. A visit from a
member of the public to check on an older person’s heating levels, food
supplies and security, as well as to simply offer some human contact can
make a huge difference,” he said.
charity is also asking members of the public to check on their older
neighbours and help them if they need to travel to the local shop or
post office during the bad weather.
Met Éireann has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice in
Leinster, Munster and counties Galway and Roscommon from today, Thursday
12 January 2016.
The cold weather has already arrived in Europe and, speaking to
pilgrims gathered in a freezing St Peter’s Square on Sunday (8 January),
Pope Francis called for prayers for all those living and dying on the
streets at this time of year.
After praying the Angelus, the Pope remembered the homeless and
especially those who’ve died during the extreme cold weather. “May the
Lord warm our hearts to be able to help those who live on the streets,”
Archbishop Konrad Krajewski told Vatican Radio that three hostels run
by the Vatican, close to St Peter’s and to Termini train station, will
remain open 24 hours a day during the cold weather period.
Cars have also been made available as a sleeping place for those who
want to remain on the streets.
Thermal sleeping bags and gloves
are being supplied to help protect the homeless from the freezing
Snow is particularly severe in Greece and the Balkans and there are
fears that dozens of migrants and refugees are at risk of freezing to
death if immediate action is not taken.
Save the Children has warned that in Belgrade hundreds of
unaccompanied children, some aged ten and eleven years, are among the
1,200 refugees and migrants sleeping in abandoned buildings and
Temperatures have dropped to below −10
°C, and the buildings have no windows, beds, water, or toilets. People
are sleeping on the floor and are in danger from fires lit to keep warm.
Many have no gloves or proper shoes and cases of frostbite have been
Save the Children also highlighted that in northern Greece an Afghan refugee froze to death when temperatures fell to −14
°C. In Bulgaria the body of a Somali woman was found frozen along the
country’s southern border. Media also reported that two Iraqi men were
found frozen to death on Friday in a forest in South East Bulgaria.
The EU’s “failure to respond is leaving thousands of refugees and
migrants, including unaccompanied children, literally out in the cold,”
said Andreas Ring, Save the Children’s Balkans Representative.
“Refugees and migrants who have survived years of war, violence, and
deadly journeys to safety are now freezing to death on Europe’s
doorstep. Immediate access to appropriate shelter is needed for all
refugees and migrants, regardless of their status, to prevent
unnecessary loss of life, particularly for children.”
Last winter, refugees’ and migrants’ tents were sinking in mud, but
this year tents are sinking in snow in the ‘formal’ camps to which they
Andreas Ring added that by ensuring safe and regular ways to reach EU
member states, speeding up access to asylum procedures and investing in
dignified reception conditions more deaths can be avoided.