Following the inquest into Barbara Bolton's death, John Palmer, Director of Policy and Communications for Independent Age said:

“We’re extremely distressed to hear the findings of the inquest into Barbara Bolton’s death. No one should risk their health because they’re worried about making ends meet. While Barbara’s case is sadly one of the most extreme, we speak to older people every day who are stuck in bed because of the cold and unable to turn the heating on despite needing it for long term-health conditions. 

“For anyone worried about how they will heat their homes, we want people to know that help is out there. Older people or their family and friends can get in touch with Independent Age’s free helpline for impartial advice on what financial entitlements they could receive and you can find our Moneywise guide on our website,, for advice on increasing your income and saving money.

“One important way older people can drive up their income is by receiving Pension Credit if they are eligible. We know that up to 850,000 older households are currently not receiving the state pension top-up for those on a low income. On average, single people receive an extra £61 a week, and couple receive £85 a week. These are life changing amounts of money, and too often, it is sitting there unclaimed. Call our helpline on 0800 319 6789 for advice and support with your finances if you’re worried.”

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