Author: Age Cymru
Published on 22 November 2011 12:30 PM
Responding to figures issued today by Office for National Statistics that reveal 1,500 people in Wales died last winter from preventable ‘excess winter deaths’, Victoria Lloyd of Age Cymru says:
“The numbers of excess winter deaths are a disgrace.
“We like to think of ourselves as a civilised society which protects the most vulnerable but the numbers of older people who do not survive the winter here is far higher than most European countries where the weather is far colder.
“In Wales, there are still over 12 excess deaths of people aged 65 and over per day - a figure that should make us all ashamed.
“This is due not only to the cold but also to the country’s inability to meet the challenge of dropping temperatures and winter illnesses.
“These deaths are the tip of an iceberg of illness, misery and anxiety which grips Wales every winter.
“We know that behind these shocking figures lie deep- seated social issues.
“The latest estimates show there are over 332,000 households in fuel poverty in Wales.
“The governments in Cardiff Bay and Westminster must do more to tackle fuel poverty by improving incomes, controlling energy prices and ensuring that our housing is able to cope with winter.
“To help alleviate this needless suffering Age Cymru has launched its Spread the Warmth campaign this winter.
“We want to raise awareness of the difficulties many older people face in cold weather and let them know that there is help available.”