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Advocates For Elderly Advise Staying Put After Snowstorms

(Photo by John McDevitt)

(Photo by John McDevitt)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - We’re all having trouble getting around since the latest snowstorm.  But the infirm and elderly are having an especially difficult time.

Outside a hospital complex in center city Philadelphia, a companion was pushing 62-year-old Harold Allen of North Philadelphia in a wheelchair from one building to another.

Mr. Allen had two medical appointments that he says could not be missed.

“The snow piles up and it gets hilly, and me being in a wheelchair it’s really hard to get across the street,” he told KYW Newsradio today as he clutched his walker in his lap.  “Even the crosswalks, they’re not clear.”

Senior citizens are being discouraged from going outside.

“Stay home, be safe,” was the simple advice from Linda Riley, a spokeswoman for Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA).

“Anybody that has any kind of frailty, mobility issues, not so sure on their feet should not be out walking around,” she told KYW Newsradio. “One section of the sidewalk could be cleared and another isn’t.  Another thing we want people to do is check on their neighbors.”

Angela Brown is with New Courtland Network, a nonprofit senior services organization.

“It’s just so dangerous, and we are urging them to use our services,” she said. “We’ll transport medications, we’ll transport food to those who are enrolled in our ‘Life Program.’ “

Most Philadelphia senior centers have been closed since Tuesday.  But Riley, of PCA, says clients who get meals delivered are getting them, and medical needs are being addressed.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060.