Cold homes are triggering heart attacks and strokes in older people.
An Age Uk report says living in a cold home is a ‘major factor’ in winter deaths. There are around 8,000 extra deaths for every one degree drop in average temperature. It has been found that death rates in Britain are higher than Scandinavia, which has colder winters – but better insulation.
High energy prices and badly insulated homes will lead to the loss of thousands of lives and seriously effect pensioners health this winter, warns a new report.
It shows cold homes are costing the NHS £1.36 billion every year in hospital and primary care as older people struggle with respiratory problems, stroke and heart attacks triggered by the cold.
Around 27,000 excess winter deaths are expected this year, including avoidable fatalities among older people, says the charity Age UK.
The report says superior building standards in countries like Finland and Sweden which insist on insulation and double glazing mean they have warmer homes than in the UK, which has a milder climate.
Older people living in cold homes are at higher risk of death and illnesses such as arthritis and rheumatism, with the risks going up as temperatures plummet.
Millions of older people are having to choose between staying warm and high priced energy bills they can afford.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s an absolute scandal that tens of thousands of older people will become ill or die this winter because they are unable to keep warm.
‘Not only is this resulting in an incalculable human cost but the NHS is spending more than a billion pounds on treating the casualties of cold every year.’
Video courtesy of Age UK