Turning off your heating to save money can lead to serious health issues

Struggling to cope with the rising energy prices and soaring costs of food and essentials, elderly in the UK are turning off heating and cutting meals to survive.

Rising energy costs: The elderly turning off heating leading to health issues
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Rising energy costs: The elderly turning off heating leading to health issues

With the winter months fast approaching and energy prices continuing to soar, some very distressing news has emerging. A lot of people in the UK are having to choose between food or heating, and the situation is even worse in the case of one of the most vulnerable sections of the population: the elderly.

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Older people in the UK are increasingly adopting distressing means to cope with the rising costs of energy, which is severely impacting their health and well-being.

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Rising bills are already having ‘an obvious and immediate impact on older people’s health and wellbeing.’ shapecharge

The elderly are very affected by rising energy costs

As reported by Mirror, in a survey back in September, 1 in 7 elderly persons interviewed in a YouGov poll said they'll be forced to turn heating off this winter if the energy prices continue to soar. And unfortunately, as per the latest reports by Insider, it is indeed happening.

The Insider report interviewed Dr. Hina Shahid, a general practitioner in London, who said that last year, even without a massive energy hike, elderly people were already afraid to turn up their heating. So this year, coupled with the crisis and rising energy bills, things are bound to get worse.

Living without heating in damp conditions can impact the health of the elderly. Dr. Shahid says in the Insider report,

If people are not living in the right conditions, then that is the biggest health risk that they can face.
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Rising fuel prices are further isolating some older people who depend on cars to get them everywhere Jasmin Merdan

Health impacts of rising energy prices

The Scotsman reports that a study conducted by Age Scotland sought to find out more about how older people in Scotland are dealing with rising energy costs and the findings were extremely alarming. The elderly are cutting back expenses drastically, including cutting back on meals and compromising on healthy living conditions.

The study also found a lack of awareness on energy schemes or resources meant to help the elderly. The report states,

Cutting back on food, heating, essentials and treats means life for many older people is significantly less comfortable then it should be. Their fixed income and pension are not increasing in line with fuel bills.

The report also underlined how fuel costs are impacting older people who depend on cars to get them from one place to another and who are now left isolated in the face of being unable to afford fuel.

A lot of people are also facing increased stress and mental health problems which are rooted in the rising costs of living. The rising bills are already having ‘an obvious and immediate impact on older people’s health and wellbeing.’

Sources used:

Insider: ‘Doctors are linking some medical problems to the cost-of-living crisis as patients struggle to afford food and bills’

Mirror: ‘One in 7 elderly say they'll be forced to turn heating off this winter as deaths may soar’

The Scotsman: ‘Energy bills: older people frightened to heat their homes need help- Brian Sloan’

Age UK: 'Report of Age Scotland’s energy survey'

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