Silver Line founder Esther Rantzen speaks out following tragic deaths of pensioners in Bournemouth (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Silver Line founder Esther Rantzen speaks out following tragic deaths of pensioners in Bournemouth
CAMPAIGNER Esther Rantzen has spoken out to raise awareness of the plight of vulnerable elderly people following a spate of deaths in Bournemouth.
The TV presenter called the Daily Echo to express her concern over the case of two pensioners found dead at a block of flats in the town.
The bodies of devoted couple Roy and Glenys Smith, who were 92 and 89-years-old, were discovered in the gardens of Crag Head apartments in Manor Road last Tuesday.
They had fallen from the window of their bedroom on the third floor of the building. An inquest on Monday heard that the couple both died of multiple traumatic injuries, pending the results of a toxicology report, and had left a suicide note in their home.
Mr and Mrs Smith, both of Pontypool in Wales, had spoken to neighbours of fears about having to go into a care home.
On Monday, a woman in her 70s from the Westcliff area fell to her death from a bridge at Bournemouth beauty spot Middle Chine.
And three weeks ago, on November 17, the daughter of 92-year-old Joan Gill found the “frail” grandmother in bed with a bag over her head.
Mrs Gill, of Doveshill Mobile Home Park in Barnes Road, had told family members that she had “lived too long”.
Miss Rantzen established charity Silverline to support lonely and distressed elderly people this month.
The charity has received two calls in the wake of the deaths of Mr and Mrs Smith from local residents.
“Silverline reminds older people that they are valued – they are our silver generation, a national treasure for their life experience, memories and the contribution they have made to this country,” she said.
“I am certain that many older people in the Bournemouth area would love to spend time chatting, having conversations with people and having a laugh. The deaths of these people in the area are absolutely tragic.”
She said: “I would like to thank the Echo for promoting the helpline. It is clear older people need an advocate.”
n Call Silverline on 0800 470 8090.
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