Survey Suggests Elderly Face Tough Winter

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19th November 2012 17:49 - Health

Age UK have surveyed more than 1,000 adults aged over 65, and estimates that as many as 25,000 older people could die needlessly due to the harsh winter that has been forecast. 

The study said that the drop in temperature could increase the chance of health problems for older people, and leaves them at risk of being isolated in their own homes. The responses they received suggests that 3.5million people aged 65 or above are getting little or no help from their neighbours, and 21% of the elderly were concerned that they would be stranded at home. 

As many as 7% of the respondents said that they didn't know their neighbours at all. 

Age UK's research found that around a third were concerned about keeping warm at home during the winter, and over 65s were concerned about not getting out during the shorter daylight hours, and being worried about falling on ice or otherwise injuring themselves. 

Research conducted in the past has shown that the cold snap can increase health risks in older people, including a heightened risk of heart attacks and strokes, respiratory problems, pneumonia and depression. The feeling of isolation that some may suffer from is also known to negatively impact physical health. 

Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK, said; "The winter can cause misery, avoidable illness and even death for too many older people. There is something simple that everyone can do, from popping in to check on an older neighbour to making time for older relatives." 

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