John Palmer, Director of Policy and Communications at Independent Age, said:
“While the number of excess winter deaths may be lower than other years, this number is still concerning, particularly for bereaved families. Vulnerable older people and especially those facing financial hardship will likely make up a large percentage of this number. The cost-of-living crisis has left many older people struggling and forced to make dangerous decisions to scrape by, sadly with fatal consequences. With around 2 million older people living in poverty, reducing financial hardship in later life is vital if the government wants to reduce excess deaths.
“By committing to a written Pension Credit uptake strategy, the government can tackle the problem of up to 850,000 older households missing out on up to £1.7 billion a year in additional income. We know that older people on a low income are far more likely to have health and social care needs, and there is a strong link between poorer health outcomes and poverty.
“Additionally, if you or someone you know is concerned about staying warm this winter, you can access our Winterwise guide, which is full of helpful tips for keeping well over the next few months at independentage.org or by calling our helpline on 0800 319 6789.”