Published on 04 December 2013 02:00 PM
60% are worried about increasing costs of energy bills
Welsh pensioners are facing a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges this winter that includes loneliness and choosing between heating or eating.
Age Cymru are today raising awareness of the plight of older people in the winter months.
Age Cymru’s Chief Executive, Ian Thomas, explains:
”Life is harsh for many older people across Wales, particularly in the winter months. “Thousands will live in just one room in their home to keep warm and many will rely on the television as their only company.
“Age Cymru’s own statistics show that over 60% of Welsh over 65s are worried about the increasing cost of energy bills.
“And as they face the dilemma of whether to heat their homes or eat this winter, many older people will do so in a state of isolation and loneliness.”
Age Cymru says that with local authorities facing budget cutbacks, many of the services that older people use to make life bearable are under threat.
Day centres, lunch clubs and libraries are lifelines for many older people and without them many more individuals will be isolated in their own homes.
Ian Thomas adds:
“We are facing a perfect storm of factors which together make winter an increasingly difficult time for older people.
“Tragically, 1,900 older people in Wales died last year because of the cold and it shames us as a society that we are allowing this to happen.
“Politicians at all levels cannot afford to ignore the plight of our most vulnerable older people and all public authorities must pay close attention to the impact their proposed cuts will have.
“Age Cymru’s annual Spread the Warmth campaign supports isolated and vulnerable older people across Wales through the cold winter months.