A senior police officer has urged young people to get off social media and connect with people after an elderly couple was found dead in their home.
The “fiercely independent” husband and wife, aged in their 80s, were found dead in their Palm Beach, Sydney home on Tuesday morning. It is unclear how long ago they died.
The discovery triggered an emotional plea from a veteran NSW police officer for people to get back in touch with their local community.
“Just for twenty minutes, time to put down those iPhones and iPads, and hold back the selfies and making friends with people you don’t know,” Superintendent Dave Darcy said in a Facebook post.
“Have a real conversation with your elderly neighbour who is living a simple life devoid of all electronic gadgets that contribute to real community cohesion.”
The husband, the sole carer for his wife, is believed to have died of natural causes, while his wife who was blind and had other disabilities, “subsequently died due to a lack of care”.
“Unfortunately his wife is very dependent on his care, as such she has become vulnerable and unfortunately passed away.”
Their causes of death have not yet been formally identified.
The couple had denied aged care assistance and other medical support, Supt Darcy said, while their closest relative lived overseas.
LIFE IS A TEAM GAME. ELDERLY COUPLE FOUND DECEASED IN PALM BEACH. A fiercely independent elderly couple have been found…
“Whilst we believe there are no suspicious circumstances, this is an opportunity to reflect on this tragedy and think about our elderly parents and neighbours and what we can do as a community and as individuals to prevent a recurrence of this terrible event,” Supt Darcy said.
“Life is a team game.
“If you are concerned about a neighbour who you haven’t seen, knock on their door or give us a ring.”
Readers concerned about senior citizens in their community can contact the Elder Abuse Hotline on 1800 628 221.