There are 11.4 million people aged 65 and over in the UK, and, according to Independent Age’s recent poll, just over one-third do not heat their home adequately some, most, or all of the time in winter because of worry about paying fuel bills.
Being cold isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also be very bad for your health. Low temperatures increase the risk of flu as well as a heart attack, stroke or hypothermia.
The shocking ONS figures on Excess Winter Deaths in 2014/15 show that the over 75’s are most at risk by far of excess winter deaths. But tens of thousands of excess winter deaths do not need to be an inevitable part of cold weather. Countries like Finland and Germany have significantly lower levels of excess winter deaths, despite having colder winters than us.
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said: “The uncomfortable truth is that, as a country, we’re not very good at coping with winter and many of these deaths are preventable. This isn’t just a story about cold weather; it’s a story of cold, damp and poorly insulated homes and pensioners who can’t afford to pay heating bills.”
To find out how to alleviate the worries of winter, order a copy of Independent Age’s Being Winter Wise booklet, which is full of practical tips on staying warm and healthy in the winter months, including information about Winter Fuel Payments.
Click here to order your free copy of the booklet today