You are here

Older people at risk over winter

27th October 2006

Last winter, just over eight people died every hour in Britain, according to a charity.

Older people are particularly at risk from dying during winter as they are often less able to resist illness in the cold weather, particularly those already in poor health, says Age Concern.

Furthermore, those over 65s living at home are the most at risk as they are more likely to live in sub-standard or energy inefficient homes and are at a greater risk of fuel poverty than those in other age groups.

"It is a national scandal that so many people over 65 are put at risk every winter," said the director general of Age Concern, Gordon Lishman.

"Older people need to take extra care when it is cold. We urge older people to make sure that their home is heated properly and to get the flu jab this winter. Dressing well, eating well and keeping active can help you to keep warm throughout the day."

The government has made a commitment to deliver a solution for those most vulnerable to cold-related ill health by 2010.

However, it is estimated by consumer watchdog energywatch that there are currently three million UK households currently living in fuel poverty.