The weather may still be relatively mild, but there’s no doubt that winter is just around the corner and for many older people, this is a huge worry. Age UK’s new research has found that 1 in 3 older people are concerned about keeping their home adequately warm this coming winter, and 70 per cent of older people are concerned about the high cost of energy.
Before getting help from Age UK County Durham, Lily, 88, was having to make painful sacrifices every day due to her limited income. This meant going to bed early just to stay warm because she couldn’t afford to put the heating on.
Last week we launched our End Pensioner Poverty campaign. Joanne Sawyer, Equality and Human Rights Policy Adviser, looks at how the issue of pensioner poverty relates to human rights in the UK.
Today in the UK, 1.6 million older people live in poverty, of whom 900,000 are living in severe poverty. Whilst the number of pensioners living on a low income has fallen considerably in recent years, progress has now stalled and pensioner poverty levels have stayed the same. In practice, this means constant financial worries for some older people and struggles to afford basic essentials like fresh food, warm clothes, and heating during the winter.
This unequal situation persists despite the right of everyone in the UK to an adequate standard of living which includes “adequate food, clothing and housing”, whatever their age and whatever their background. The General Assembly of the UN has stated that “older persons should have access to adequate food, water, shelter, clothing and health care through the provision of income, family and community support and self-help”. Continue reading