Response to South Wales Argus
Re: Older people being admitted to hospital with hypothermia due to heating costs
Age Cymru’s Health Initiatives Co-ordinator, Angharad Phillips says: “It is extremely worrying that older people are being admitted to hospital with hypothermia due to heating costs. We understand these are very challenging times, but we would urge older people to put their personal health above everything else and make sure that at least one room in their home is warm enough to sit comfortably without developing an illness.
“If people are worried about paying their bills, they should seek advice to make sure they are claiming all their benefits and entitlements. For example, more than £200m worth of pension credit goes unclaimed in Wales each year. There are also several winter related benefits available to some older people such as the Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Payment, Warm Home Discount Scheme, and the Welsh Government’s Warm Homes Nest Scheme. Contact charities such as Age Cymru, or your fuel supplier who is obliged to support vulnerable customers.
“We’d also advise that people try to eat at least warm meal a day plus plenty of hot drinks. When it gets very cold wear plenty of thin cotton layers, even when you’re indoors, and try to keep moving by going for a walk or doing some physical chores the home.
“During the pandemic communities throughout Gwent rallied round and provided lots of support and reassurance to their older neighbours and we ask you to do the same once again. If you have an older friend, relative or neighbour, pop round to see if you can help with any errands such as clearing leaves and ice from footpaths or offer to run errands to pick up items such as food and medicines.”