Monday, 29 October 2012

Britain in winter is no country for cold, old men

The Charity 'Age Concern' has just published its most recent survey. 'Later Life in the United Kingdom' and under the section, 'Fuel Poverty', it made the following points, that :

* 36% of old men and women aged 60 or over in Britain sometimes stay or live in just one heated room of their home to save money. 
* nearly 33% households in England, where the oldest person is aged 75+, live in housing which has failed the official 'decent homes standard' and one in eight of these fail because of 'sub-standard heating and insulation'.

* old men and women in Britain are more likely to worry about the cost of heating in winter than in comparable European countries and are also more likely to turn heating off to save money, wear outdoor clothing inside and go to bed early to save on heating costs.
* A higher proportion of old men and women dread the winter in the UK, than in Sweden and also 'feel colder' in their own homes compared to their counterparts in either Sweden or Germany.
 Under the section 'Effects of Winter Cold', it reported that :

* there is a strong relationship between poor insulation and heating of houses, low indoor temperature and excess winter deaths of old people.                               Swedish wood burner
* there were 24,430 excess winter deaths of old men

and women aged 65 or over in Britain in 2010/11, a fall of 2,340 compared to the previous winter.

* there are about 8,000 deaths a year in the UK for every degree celsius of winter cold below average.

* deaths from hypothermia are rare, but cold weather and poor heating can contribute to the deaths caused by circulatory diseases responsible for 41% of all recorded deaths by natural causes and by respiratory diseases  responsible for 13%.
Old men of Britain prepare. One long range weather forecast is predicting :

December 2012
Currently the forecast model is suggesting that northern blocking , high pressure to the north of the UK, will play quite a major role during December with pressure forecast to be higher than average right across from Greenland, through into Scandinavia and east. On the ground, the current outlook is for rainfall to be below average across the northern half of the UK, but closer to or even wetter than average further south. Temperatures are forecast to be close.

January 2013
Confidence really begins to tumble at this stage but at the time of writing, January is forecast to be a similar month to December with 'northern blocking' again a strong player, with a colder than average month indicated at the current time.

My earlier posts featuring cold weather and old men in Britain :
Sunday, 5 February 2012
Britain is no country for the cold, old men who will die this week
Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Britain, a country where many cold, old men die in winter has the antidote in the Met Office 'Cold Weather Plan'
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Britain is no country for thousands of old men who will die of the cold this winter

Saturday, 18 December 2010
Britain is a country whose old men remember the winter of 1963 when they were supple boys and not brittle boned old men


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