According to a recent poll undertaken by a company aimed at over-50s, Saga, one in ten elderly people is forced to stay in bed longer to keep warm as a result of rising fuel costs.
The survey was carried out with more than 12,000 people including almost 8,000 retired people.
The results revealed that one third of respondents heated fewer rooms within their home in an attempt to reduce fuel costs. In addition, 64 per cent said that they now have to wear extra layers of clothing around their home to prevent using the heating.
Fuel Price Concerns
An astounding majority, 84 per cent, expressed their concern at the fuel price hikes.
Paul Green at Saga comments: “In the cold winter months, spiralling fuel costs are striking fear in the hearts of some, pensioner households.
“For some, the fear could mean they won’t turn their heating on and in so doing, risk their own health and welfare.”
Regardless of the many daily living aids available for older people to keep warm, lack of heat their homes is still a major factor in the number of deaths each year.
Jane Vass, head of public policy at charity Age UK said: “High energy prices along with poorly insulated homes are some of the factors that cause cold homes.
“Those living in the coldest homes are three times more likely to die a preventable death than those living in warmer ones.
“Long term, we strongly believe that the only sustainable solution is investment to increase the energy efficiency of housing stock so cold homes become a thing of the past.”
Discussion on the rising fuel costs has been high in recent months due to the above-inflation increases announced by the UK’s six biggest energy suppliers.
Ed Miliband has pledged that if Labour wins the general election in 2015, there will be a fuel price freeze.
Labour’s shadow minister, Luciana Berger commented: “This survey shows the desperate lengths older people are willing to go to in order to keep warm in David Cameron’s Britain.
“We’ve already seen a 40 per cent spike in the number of people suffering from hypothermia on the government’s watch. Ministers urgently need to act to help people struggling during winter.”
Mobility Shop Offers Free Guide to Keeping Warm in Winter
Age UK produces a helpful guide to staying warm in winter. Call in at our mobility shop at 75 Hawthorn Street in Glasgow to collect your free copy of this handy guide.
Do you think more should be done in order to prevent fuel price hikes? Why not let us know your thoughts below.