In the last few weeks local Paramedic William Rixon and his team have treated several patients who live alone and were unwell or had an accident in their homes. In some of these cases the patients were extremely ill, or had had a fall rendering them unable to call for help, resulting in their spending several days without food, water or medical assistance. After seeing several of these cases Will would like to encourage everyone to take part in a little “neighbourhood watch”.
While Will recognises that no one likes to be considered a nosey neighbour, he would like to remind everyone that there are a few things to look out for to help make sure people in your community are safe and well without being obtrusive. These can be as simple as taking note of unusual things such as not seeing your neighbour out in their yard for a few days, lights being on or off at irregular times, or an overflowing mail box. If you are comfortable, Will would encourage you to knock on the door to see if everything is OK. If you don’t have this sort of relationship with your neighbours, or have checked and been unable to gain a response a call to 000 to arrange for a welfare check by Local Police or Ambulance Officers is the next course of action.
Ambulance and Police often perform welfare checks, and are always happy when they find the person they are checking on to be healthy and well. “I’d much rather find out it has been a false alarm than a situation where someone has had a fall and been unable to get up for three days” says Will. “If everything is OK, then at least your neighbour knows someone is looking out for them. In the worst case scenario you may save someone’s life.”