One in ten over 50s feel their health has been affected by living in a cold house

Thursday 27 November 2014

As temperatures drop and the winter weather looks set to stay, new research by Saga shows that more than half (53%) of over 50s are worried about the cost of heating their home this winter and an estimated 2.4million (11% of over 50s) feel their health has been affected by living in a cold house.

One in ten over 50s feel their health has been affected by living in a cold house

Whilst published inflation figures may show that the cost of living is increasing at a slower rate, many older people have failed to feel the benefit. In fact, energy costs continue to be higher than they were a year ago leaving many older people faced with cutting back on essential spending elsewhere in order to heat their homes. 

In a recent poll of more than 10,000 over 50s for Saga, older consumers reveal the lengths they may have to go to in order to heat their homes. One in seven (14%) say they will have to cut back on other spending and six in ten (59%) say they will have to wear extra layers of clothing. 

In addition, and perhaps more worrying is the fact that 3 in ten (30%) will heat only the rooms they live in and more than 4%, which equates to a staggering 880,000 over 50s*, will have to reduce their spending on food in order to heat – a real heat or eat decision!

Saga’s head of communications Lisa Harris commented “These latest figures show just how far people will have to go to cope with the increasing cost of heating their homes. In this day and age people should not have to make the choice between eating well or heating their homes.  In fact for many older people they feel this is directly affecting their health.

“For most people the time that we get up and the time we go to bed is based on how we feel, but for many older people this decision is now likely to be driven by the temperature.  To look around you and realise that one in every ten people that you see aged over 50, and particularly those over 70, will have to spend longer in bed in the morning, and go to bed earlier at night, purely to keep themselves warm in winter.  This demonstrates the harsh personal reality of our escalating fuel costs”.

The research also revealed that an estimated 660,000** will spend time in a public venue, i.e. shopping centre or library or on public transport to keep warm this winter.

Lisa Harris continued “Whilst much of the advice and information to older people is to selectively heat their homes, we believe that more needs to be done to help older people understand exactly what help is available to them, both in terms of financial support; and also what they can do to make their homes more energy efficient.”

Information and advice on how to cut the cost of heating your home can be found at saga.co.uk/money.  

Ends

For further information please contact Lisa Harris on 01303 774716

Editor’s notes

All figures used throughout this release are from the monthly Saga Populus poll.

Populus interviewed 10,176 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 17 and 23 October 2014. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk.

*calculated using 4%, of respondents who said they will have to cut spending on food to afford their energy.  4% of the 22million over 50s in the UK equates to an estimated 880,000

**calculated using 3%, of respondents who said they would either spend time in a library, shopping centre or on public transport to keep warm this winter. 3% of the 22million over 50s in the UK equates to an estimated 660,000

 

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