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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 28 November 2014 12:30 PM

1,000 people aged 65 and over died in Wales last winter of preventable ‘cold-related illnesses’ according to figures issued today by the Office for National Statistics.

Winter 2013/14 saw the lowest number of excess winter deaths in Wales for 20 years, but we're giving this news a mixed response.  

Our Head of Policy and Public Affairs Graeme Francis says:

“It is good news that fewer older people died from preventable causes last winter.

“But let’s not forget that last winter was a mild one and there were still 1,000 excess winter deaths of people aged 65 and over so we must not become complacent about the problem.”

More people die in the winter than in the summer – this increase is called ‘excess winter mortality’.

According to the Office for National Statistics’ figures, last winter across the UK the majority of ‘excess winter mortality’ deaths occurred among those aged 75 and over.

Age Cymru wants action to make winter an easier time for older people.

“The fact remains that winter is still a difficult time for many older people, with many afraid to turn up their heating due to the costs or go without food instead” comments Graeme Francis.

He concludes:

“The number of excess winter deaths remains far too high and we need action to improve the quality of life for older people during the winter months by tackling issues such as the warmth of Welsh homes and improving state benefit uptake among older people.”

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081