March 2018
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Social Care Team and OMT battle icy conditions to reach Diggle pensioner

Through the strongest blizzards and the deepest snowdrifts, there’s a team of everyday heroes checking in on all elderly and vulnerable people in Oldham.

Many people have been affected by the severe weather in recent days but spare a thought for those who rely on the help of others.

Staff from Oldham Council and MioCare, which is responsible for delivering social care provision in Oldham, have literally been digging their way into the homes of elderly and vulnerable people as the Beast from the East hits the borough with blizzards and drifting snow. The winter weather has left many elderly people cut off from the outside world. Often completely immobile and in some instances, left without sufficient heat and food.

In response, Oldham Council and MioCare staff have pulled out all the stops to make sure older people are safe and well. In the height of the treacherous conditions on Thursday (March 1), MioCare staff trekked through the snow to visit 160 elderly and vulnerable people to make sure they were safe and had everything they needed. Thousands of other vulnerable residents were also contacted by phone.

MioCare workers marched through snow up to their waist to reach a 94-year-old woman in Strinesdale to make sure she had plenty of food and that she was warm.

Oldham Council’s Adult Social Care team became very worried about a 90-year-old woman who lives alone on a farm in Diggle. She had no heating other than a coal fire and, unfortunately, all her coal was outside. Drifting snow stopped the team from reaching the woman as they tried twice to battle the icy conditions. She was given support over the phone until the team aided by the Oldham Mountain Rescue Service were finally able to break through and help her.

Cllr Jenny Harrison, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding, said: “This week has been a very testing time for everyone in Oldham. Simple tasks such as going to the shop for food have become an enormous struggle. At Oldham Council, we are urging those who can to support the vulnerable and elderly during these challenging times.

“We are doing our bit. There isn’t a single call for help not being answered by our incredible teams who put others first every day. We urge residents to do their bit and check on any elderly neighbours. Make sure their heating is working, they have enough food and water and don’t feel alone. The result is that everyone remains safe and well during this period of severe weather.”

Karl Dean, Managing Director at MioCare, said: “The team successfully met every single call out. The care of our most vulnerable was at the forefront of our minds with every staff member going the extra mile to ensure the safety of those who needed our help most.

“I am enormously proud of the team and the work they do.”

If you or someone you know, is in need of urgent care in these adverse weather conditions please call 0161 770 7777. (Between 5pm and 9am call 0161 770 6936).

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