Elderly couple who fell to their deaths from block of flats 'didn't want to move into care home' (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Elderly couple who fell to their deaths from block of flats 'didn't want to move into care home'
TRAGIC elderly couple Roy and Glenys Smith plunged to their deaths from their flat after telling neighbours they didn’t want to move into a care home.
Described as “lonely”, the devoted couple fell 30ft to their deaths from the block of flats where they were housebound and in poor health.
Their deaths are the latest in a series of tragic incidents involving older people. Post mortem examinations are due to be carried out tomorrow.
Both perished after plunging from their home in Crag Head, Manor Road, Bournemouth on Tuesday.
It is understood the couple were found on the ground below their bedroom window.
A police investigation was initially launched but it was soon established that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding their deaths.
Neighbour Mark Goldfinger told the Daily Echo: “They were an elderly married couple who suffered from poor health. He lost his eyesight altogether about two years ago.
“It wasn’t an accident – they were an elderly couple and a lonely couple. They weren’t that sociable. In the last five years they came out less and less as their health worsened.”
Another neighbour, Ruth Burger, added: “They were devoted to each other. I don’t think they were very well – what happened is tragic.”
It is thought the couple’s two sons and grandchildren live in Dorset.
In May this year 69-year-old Keith Williams died after jumping from the balcony of his 16th floor home in The Albany, also in Manor Road.
An inquest revealed Mr Williams died after suffering years of pain which left him increasingly depressed.
An 80-year-old woman also died after falling from the same cliff-top block.
- Older people in need of support and advice can contact Bournemouth-based Help and Care’s Telephone Support Service on 0300 111 3303 or the new Silver Line service, launched recently by Esther Rantzen, on 0800 470 8090.
Marianne Storey, Director of Development at Help and Care in Bournemouth said: “This is a truly tragic event and hearing this kind of story always saddens me terribly because this is exactly what Help and Care is here to try to prevent.
“If an older person is desperate or lonely or feels they really have nowhere to turn we can help. We have a great team of people who run our Helpdesk and anyone can call with any problem at all that they are struggling with.
“ The Helpdesk team will listen and offer as much support as they can. We also have a telephone befriending service run by our fantastic volunteers. They call lonely and isolated people once a week for a chat and a check up on how they’re doing. If things are not going so well they can help put in any support the person needs. For some lonely people it’s the only conversation they have all week but it makes such a difference knowing someone cares about them.
We also have support services for carers of older people and advocacy support services. We do all these things because we don’t want people to feel desperate and as if there is no hope or nowhere to turn – there is. I urge any older person who is feeling lonely, scared or at their wits end to call us. We’re here to listen and to help.”
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