Rural dwellers urged to check on the elderly
Local people living in rural areas of the North West were today urged to check on their elderly neighbours.
Sinn Fein councillor Paul Fleming appealed for residents to check regularly to ensure they do not need anything.
He said it was particularly important to be on the lookout for those vulnerable to criminal elements who deliberately target them.
Mr Fleming said this was particularly important for elderly people living on their own in remote areas.
He said: "I'm sure in some cases many go from one week to the other without seeing a single human being except the likes of the postman or their home help.
"Food, may be basic and light and heat can also be something that is in short supply.
"If people have a spare moment or two, I would ask them to take the time to look in on their elderly neighbours.
"It's true that many elderly people can be very independent and neither request nor desire help, but at the same time a quick hello or a phone-call will not go amiss and could be enough to save a life."
He added: "Sadly there are small groups of criminals deliberately targeting elderly people, and there have been several very appalling incidents that have taken place in the rural areas in the past few months.
"I strongly urge members of the community to be vigilant and watch out for elderly neighbours."