Concern amongst the elderly about the cost of rising energy bills this winter. Many of these people are already living in poverty and may have debt problems, what can they do to get help?
According the research from Age UK more than 50 per cent of over 60 year olds are dreading the cold this winter. Those people described as being at the bottom of the social scale, and possibly in debt, are twice as likely to fear the cold weather as the richest.
40 per cent of over 60 year olds are worried about being able to afford their energy bills this winter and almost 30 per cent say they are likely to resort to extreme measures to keep warm.
Recent figures show an increase to 1.7 million homes in fuel poverty, in England and this new research from Age UK shows that perhaps concerns amongst the elderly about heating bills are far more common.
Last year 30 per cent of over 60 year olds resorted to living in just one room to keep their heating to a minimum cost and maximum warmth. Some wore hats and scarves, some more drastic measures were staying in bed during the daytime and 2 per cent even went to the public library.
People at the bottom of the social scale are twice as likely to be worried about the cold winter months and more than three times likely to say they could not get warm at all last winter.
Michelle Mitchell Charity Director of Age UK said: “”What lies behind this widespread fear of cold weather are pressing social issues, such as nearly two million pensioners living in poverty and millions of older households anxious about being able to afford keeping warm this winter.”
“While the Government’s decision to protect Winter Fuel Payments will make a big difference to the lives of many low-income older people this winter, our research shows there is still some way to go to take the fear out of winter.
“Through the Spread the Warmth campaign we want to raise awareness of the difficulties many older people face in winter and let them know that Age UK can help them. We want as many people as possible to get involved in our campaign so we can offer the best support to those older people who need it.”
Craig Gedey, Marketing Manager at award winning Debt Management Company, Debt Advisory Line said: “Speaking to a debt management company could also help people who are worried about being able to afford keeping warm this winter.”
“Anyone who is struggling with debts of any kind, including utility bills should seek professional debt management advice. Although debt management companies mainly deal with unsecured debts, creditors should agree to accept repayments on these debts after all reasonable living expenses, including heating, are accounted for.”
“Visit www.debtadvisoryline.co.uk for more details or call us now on 0800 157 7254.”