An elderly couple has been found dead in their home over the weekend after neighbours became concerned for their welfare and alerted the authorities.
The bodies of elderly grandparents Branko and Bozica Rasic were found in their Hurtsville home where they had lived for over 30 years in Sydney’s south.
While police won’t speculate publicly, it is believed that the couples death did not appear suspicious, and early speculation that their deaths may have been the result of a faulty heater are believed to be false.
It is understood that Branko Rasic was the sole carer of his wife Bozica who required a wheelchair, and it is believed that Mrs. Rasic passed away after the death of her husband.
The neighbours of the elderly couple grew suspicious after noticing that the elderly couples bins had not been put out for collection during the week, and there is a possibility that the couple may have been dead for a number of days before their bodies were found.
Sadly, there have been a number of stories involving the deaths of older Australians going unnoticed recently, and as our population continues to age, and our society continues to become more insular, this trend will probably continue.
National Policy Manager from Carer’s Australia, Sue Elderton, spoke with HelloCare and outlined some of the challenges that local communities and families often face when trying to ensure the welfare of elderly people who are living in their own homes.
“Family support is very important. But there are so many variations in a person’s life that you can see how these types of things happen. I call my mother once a week, and she lives very close to my sister, but if something happened to my sister and my mother, I might not hear about it for a week. It’s very sad,” said Sue.
“Community support is important, but sometimes there’s a very fine line in terms of being caring and being intrusive. You don’t want to be knocking on someone’s door all the time asking ‘is everyone alright?’ It can actually be a hard judgement call to make.”
Technology is one area within the aged care sector that has experienced a boom in recent years, evidenced by the increasing number of alerts and safety devices that continue to appear on the market.
“The first thing you would hope is that people in these situations would have some sort of emergency monitoring system, so they can contact someone when something terrible happens if they have the capacity to do so,” said Sue.