Fall victim calls for alarms

A MOOLOOLABA woman who spent four hours on the floor this week after a fall has called for the installation of alarms in all Queensland government housing for seniors.

Helen Ross said seniors alarms should be mandatory in all Department of Housing complexes for over 55s.

Ms Ross, who is in her 60s and has mobility problems, fell from a stool in her kitchen on Monday afternoon after a change in medication made her dizzy.

She could not get up because of severe gout in one leg.

She inched her way four or five metres from the kitchen to the telephone in another room to call for an ambulance.

Ms Ross said a seniors alarm should be centrally located in every seniors unit.

"There's a lot of elderly people living in these units all over the Sunshine Coast who live alone and have no-one to call on," she said.

Ms Ross said seniors in government housing tended to be pensioners whose budgets did not stretch to subscribing to a private distress or medical alarm service.

She said Queensland Housing needed to follow the lead of Canberra, which provided seniors alarms in government accommodation, and councils in the United Kingdom which also offered an alarm service.

The Sunshine Coast Daily and a Queensland Housing representative could not find any record of alarms in government housing in Canberra, although some UK councils do coordinate alarm services which anyone, be they an owner-occupier or public housing tenant, can subscribe to.

There are no moves by Queensland Housing to provide seniors alarms.

"The Department of Housing and Public Works provides low-cost, subsidised public housing suitable for seniors," a spokesperson said.

"Extra services like medical alarms are provided by commercial organisations and are used, and paid for personally, by our tenants."

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