Age UK has called for an emergency plan to reduce the number of unnecessary winter deaths this year.
The charity reports there were 23,100 excess deaths among those aged over 65 in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Excess winter deaths, common among older people not able to afford high winter heating bills, refers to the number of additional deaths in this period as opposed to the average number of fatalities in the non-winter months of the year.
Those who cannot afford heating bills due to the impact of the economic crisis and the government's austerity measures may choose to find a care home to avoid cold winters.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said that despite these excess deaths being avoidable, the UK has one of the highest winter mortality rates in Europe.
"Behind these shocking statistics lie deep-seated social issues, such as 3.5 million older people in fuel poverty, and one in three over-60s living in houses which fail the decent-home standard."
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