Staff at Age Concern in Feltham have backed a 'red alert' from leading fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) as the freezing weather since new year causes widespread misery for older people.
With temperatures likely to plummet again soon, and leading fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) issuing a 'red alert', the staff at Age Concern Feltham are urging the community to keep a closer eye on older residents who may be worried about 'wasting' their limited cash on heating.
Acting chief officer Eileen Butler said: "The cold weather can be very dangerous for older people, who are at risk of serious illness if they cannot keep warm. There are also dangers with slipping while outside on the icy streets.
"It's a good idea to drop in on older family members a little more regularly when it's really cold to make sure they're keeping warm and not feeling too isolated. And it would be great if friends and neighbours could do the same."
NEA released its rare danger warning to highlight the fact that for every one degree fall in the average winter air temperature, approximately 8,000 additional deaths occur.
Jenny Saunders, chief executive of NEA, said: "We had a very long cold snap. Prepayment meter customers will be running out of credit and everyone's fuel budgets are under strain.
"People risk having to choose between running into debt, or turning off their heating and putting their health in danger."
Balancing the cost of heating with other bills can prove diffi-cult for anyone on a tight budget but Mrs Butler has some helpful tips on keeping warm when funds are low.
Anyone who is worried about heating costs can call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 or contact their energy supplier for help with budgeting or to discuss how they can get extra credits on their meter.