Search

Look out for elderly neighbours says pensioner who survived for weeks on cheese

PUBLISHED: 12:42 09 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:52 09 September 2018

Diane Geraghty,76, at her home in Lowestoft.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Diane Geraghty,76, at her home in Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A simple act of kindness can save a life.

Diane Geraghty with her rescue dogs Buddy and Lucy. Photo: James Carr.Diane Geraghty with her rescue dogs Buddy and Lucy. Photo: James Carr.

No one knows this more than Diane Geraghty.

Earlier this year the 76-year-old was forced to survive for weeks on cheese left over from her husband’s funeral after the pension department wrongly thought she had died.

The pensioner slowly starved for more than a month until David Kinsella, a total stranger, noticed her looking distressed in her front garden.

He struck up a conversation and after hearing what had happened helped Mrs Geraghty contact the Department for Work and Pensions and resolve the issue.

And now Mrs Geraghty is calling for people to follow in Mr Kinsella’s footsteps and look out for their elderly neighbours battling loneliness who may be in need.

Diane Geraghty,76, at her home in Lowestoft.
Picture: Nick ButcherDiane Geraghty,76, at her home in Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

She said: “Another couple of weeks and I would have died.

“But David came along and helped me – he does a lot of good and helps so many people.

“If there were more people like that, who spoke to neighbours and made sure they are not lonely, the world would be a better place.”

In April Mrs Geraghty lost her husband of 25 years Joseph Michael Geraghty and spoke of the loneliness people in a similar position can feel.

She said: “I sympathise with people dealing with loneliness.

“I am lonely as far as Joseph isn’t with me, but I take the dogs for a walk and I chat to people so that breaks up the monotony.

“If neighbours are on their own and elderly you should knock on the door from time to time.

“People like privacy but you don’t know what might happen.

“There are a lot of people who are lonely who could do with a kind word and would be glad someone is being helpful towards them.”

Mrs Geraghty hid her troubles from neighbours but admits having gone through such an ordeal she would encourage others to speak out if in need.

She added: “My neighbours always said all you have to do is knock on the door any time of the day and night.

“But I was raised to be independent; it was instilled in us not to knock on people’s doors.

“But after an awful thing like that I would have a different attitude.”

Age UK

Many charities across the region are backing the fight against loneliness.

Jo Reeder, of Age UK Suffolk said: “We live in an ageing society and we would encourage everyone of all ages to check up on elderly relatives and neighbours on a regular basis to ensure that they are keeping well, fed, warm and have everything they need – particularly for those living in rural areas, in extreme weather, or people who may not be as mobile as they would like.

“The value of just a simple conversation for a lonely older person is huge, and we know that one in ten people aged over 65, say that they are often or always lonely, sometimes going for a month or more without a proper conversation.

She added: “Just a simple knock on an elderly neighbours door to check if they are ok, or if they need anything, can sometimes be the most important thing that happens in that day, and can often be life-changing.”

Other news

30 minutes ago

Student nurses from East Anglia will meet members of parliament at Westminster today ahead of a debate which will discuss the future of nurse education funding.

22 minutes ago

A road safety workshop will be held in Lowestoft in the New Year as part of a scheme to keep older drivers independent and safe on the roads in Suffolk.

08:33

A police employee has been ordered to repay almost £1,700 in fraudulent expenses claims.

Yesterday, 17:15

A Lowestoft boxer has set-up a community boxing club with the hope of helping others.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:15

A Lowestoft boxer has set-up a community boxing club with the hope of helping others.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:54

Police have issued a warning to householders following reports of scam calls and emails in the area.

Read more
BT
Yesterday, 11:05

A 15-year-old boy, who was arrested on suspicion of the serious sexual assault of a woman in her own home, has been bailed for a fifth time.

Read more
Suffolk police
Yesterday, 09:09

Commuters are urged to avoid the area after a car’s wheel came off in the middle of the road, near Notley Road.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:36

This is the dramatic moment a driver narrowly avoided a nasty crash on the A47 in Lowestoft.

Read more
Facebook

Winter Wonderland

cover

Click here to view
the Autumn
Supplement

View

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 6°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy