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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 28 October 2013 09:00 AM

61% of Welsh over 65s are worried about the increasing cost of energy bills – that’s according to figures issued today.

Age Cymru’s statistics show that 40% of over 65s in Wales are also concerned about staying warm in their home this winter. 
We're releasing this information today as we launch our ‘Spread the Warmth’ winter campaign.

Age Cymru’s Director of Influencing & Programme Development, Victoria Lloyd says:

 “Winter can be harrowingly difficult for thousands of older people with the ever increasing cost of energy bills adding to worries about being able to keep warm and well this winter.

“It is important that older people are able to keep warm, because cold temperatures can be very dangerous to their health.

“Cold temperatures increase the likelihood and severity of flu, chest infections and other respiratory problems and they also raise blood pressure which puts people at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“Being cold, even for just a short amount of time can be very dangerous as it increases the risk of associated health problems and preventable deaths during the winter.

“Spread the Warmth is Age Cymru’s annual winter campaign to prevent thousands of older people in Wales suffering needlessly this winter.

“This winter, Age Cymru and our local charity partners around the country will be supporting isolated and vulnerable older people across Wales through the cold winter months.”

Age Cymru’s research shows that 20% of older people in Wales are not aware of the severe health implications of being cold, such as an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

1,600 older people in Wales may not survive the cold weather this winter – that’s equivalent to 13 preventable deaths every day.

Victoria Lloyd comments:

“Through our Spread the Warmth campaign, we are calling on everyone to recognise the importance of staying warm and well this winter and to think about older friends, neighbours and relatives as the temperatures drop.

“Our local Age Cymru charity partners around Wales are providing range of services across the winter months, including winter benefit checks.

“Anyone with concerns about winter can call Age Cymru’s advice line for free on 08000 223 444.

“They can ring this number as well to find their local Age Cymru charity partner and order a free copy of our fact-filled ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide.”

Members of the public can support Age Cymru’s ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign by organising their own ‘Winter Warmer’ event.

They can also come along to a series of fundraising events that Age Cymru is organising in support of ‘Spread the Warmth’ this winter.

Age Cymru is urging older people and their friends and family to be prepared this winter and it’s also calling on AMs and MPs of all parties to support investment to boost the energy efficiency of older people’s homes and help them keep warm.

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444