A report by 'Age UK' last year estimated that cold homes are costing the National Health Service in England £1.36billion a year in treatments, mostly for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Many more old men die in Britain than countries in Scandinavia which have much colder winters but where there has been huge investment in insulating homes.
Maria Wardrobe, of fuel poverty charity, 'National Energy Action', said:
"The figures demonstrate that if you are a vulnerable person living in England or Wales then even a comparatively mild winter can still be deadly. The fact that our Scandinavian neighbours experience much harsher winters and have nowhere near the same level of winter deaths means that we should not accept this as inevitable."
Excess deaths among old men and women last winter 2011/12, which was relatively mild, were down by 8% compared with the previous year, but Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of 'Age UK' said :
"Every single excess winter death is preventable. The only way to make a sustained and long-term impact on excess winter deaths is by investing in making Britain’s homes more energy-efficient.Those living in the coldest homes are three times more likely to die a preventable death than those living in warmer ones. The Government must also invest in a major energy-efficiency programme to help insulate older people against the cold weather and the high cost of energy."
"The Government must take action to tackle this homemade humanitarian disaster by ensuring we all have warm and energy-efficient homes."
As the bitter Arctic conditions caused blackouts and traffic chaos yesterday, experts warned of an 'horrendous' death toll among old men and women this winter.
Earlier posts where I considered winter as the enemy to old men :
Sunday, 5 February 2012
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Tuesday, 23 February 2010