Skip to content
Please donate

Supporting older people during the cost of living crisis

Easing concerns

How Age UK is responding to the cost of living crisis and supporting older people to withstand its challenges.



“The rising cost of living is a major concern for older people,” one of Age UK’s campaigners tells us. “I am constantly worried about whether I will be able to heat my house this winter.”

2022 was a hugely challenging year, with energy bills skyrocketing and inflation rising to record-breaking heights, leaving many older people in worrying situations.

Older people have told us that they are eating less, unable to go out and engage in social activities, and taking on more caring responsibilities for their loved ones, all while trying to manage in cold homes because of how expensive everything is.

For some it’s gone beyond having to endure a lack of comfort and companionship and has meant cutting back on medication and care. No one should be putting their health and wellbeing at risk because they can’t afford the basics. Age UK therefore campaigned in 2022 to ensure older people receive better support – and will continue to do so.

Getting support for energy bills

Thanks to the incredible work of our campaigners, Age UK has been able to make an impact. More than 150,000 campaign actions have been taken to make the priorities of older people clear to MPs, including those who have competed to be our Prime Minister. It’s led to a huge amount of media coverage, meetings in Parliament, and – most importantly – positive outcomes in the form of more money for older people to manage rising costs.

Together, we pushed the Government to recognise they had to take extraordinary action and step in to help people with their bills. Thanks to the efforts of charities including Age UK, the Government announced the Energy Bill Support Scheme (£400 discount off bills), Cost of Living Payments (one-off financial support) and the Energy Price Guarantee (a freeze on the cost of a kwh of energy). We were really pleased that the Cost of Living Payments recognised pensioners as one of the groups that needed more support.

Help with the cost of living

We could all do with some extra money in our pockets this winter. Find out more about the support you could be entitled to during the cost of living crisis.

Read more

Protecting the triple lock

As inflation continued to rise, more than half of our campaigners told us that protecting the triple lock was their top priority for the Government. The triple lock ensures that the State Pension rises in line with either earnings, inflation or by 2.5%, whichever is higher. It’s essential in making sure older people who rely on the State Pension for their income can afford to pay their bills.

But the turnover and instability in No 10 Downing Street put previous commitments to the triple lock and a benefits rise in line with inflation under threat.

Our campaign therefore shifted to focus on urging the Government to raise both the State Pension and benefits (like Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit) in line with inflation in the Autumn Statement. A huge effort from campaigners resulted in the Chancellor not only reinstating the triple lock, but also:

  • uprating benefits in line with inflation;
  • allocating more funding towards pensioners, disabled people and benefit recipients through Cost of Living payments;
  • introducing an Energy Efficiency Taskforce;
  • and extending the Energy Price Guarantee (set at a higher price) for an additional 12 months.

What’s next?

Our work is far from over. As well as pushing for older people to get the support they need this winter, we also want to stop older people being in this position again.

We are working alongside other charities to push for a new discounted energy deal for those on low incomes, with a long-term condition and carers. And we want to see much more action to insulate homes, making them warmer and more energy efficient.

Older people must be protected from high energy costs and never again put in the situation of having to make impossible decisions about life's essentials.

Help us push for change

We're on a mission to make the UK a better place to grow older. Join our campaigning community to stay updated on our progress and use your voice for good.

Share this page

Last updated: Dec 29 2022

You might also be interested in

Become part of our story

Sign up today

Back to top