Pensioner, late 80s, cancelling his carer as he’d ‘prefer to be warm than clean and cold’
Cost of Living: Eamonn Holmes on impact on pensioners
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According to research carried out by Age UK, two million older households will not have enough income to cover their essential spending this year, including their energy bills. The charity estimates that almost half of these households are living in poverty, just above the poverty line or on benefits. One man, in his 80s, told Age UK: “I will have to cancel my carer – I prefer to be warm and dirty than clean and cold.”
As part of its research, the charity believes pensioners will have to increase the percentage of their net income spent on essential goods and services to survive.
This will likely be a rise from 67 percent in 2021-22 to 79 percent in 2022-23 in light of rising inflation and energy bills.
The debate about paying for energy bills or carers will affect many pensioners in the coming months.
For many older people, the average cost of hourly home care is £20 to £30, according to homecare.co.uk.
READ MORE: Woman, 88, in tears after losing £36,000 savings – after ‘scrimping’ for 50 years
In comparison, live-in care fees reportedly start at around £900 to £1,400 per week but can be as much as £2,000 per week.
In response, Age UK is calling on the Government to raise the rate of benefit payments in line with inflation, which is currently seven percent.
As well as this, the charity is proposing a £500 one-off payment is introduced to mitigate the damage of the cost of living crisis.
Outside of the pensioner considering no longer having a carer, many other case studies spoke to Age UK about their concerns with the cost of living crisis.
Also sharing their story with the charity, a couple in their mid-70s explained: “When it’s cold, we go to bed much earlier to keep warm.
“He has to be washed and changed at least three times a day and consequently my washing machine and dryer are permanently in use.
“We have to keep the heating on most of the time and increases will make an enormous difference to our expenses, but we have no other choice because of my husband’s health.”
Also sharing their story with the charity, a couple in their mid-70s explained:: “When it’s cold, we go to bed much earlier to keep warm.
“We used to bathe daily but this will now be cut to twice a week. I think this says it all, we simply cannot afford to pay these rip-off prices anymore. What’s the point of life?”
Discussing the charity’s latest research, Caroline Abrahams from Age UK said: “Our new analysis shows the brutal impact that rocketing prices are having on our older population and lays bare the desperate situation facing almost a million pensioners next year, if the Government fails to act.
“I’m astonished that the bad news about prices keeps rolling in but the Government continues to sit on its hands, and from what we hear many older people are surprised and disappointed too. There must be more that Ministers can do to help.
“Significant numbers of older people are already struggling, and the Bank of England was crystal clear last week that it’s only going to get worse in the months to come.
“For older people on low fixed incomes, relying solely on their state pension and benefits, it’s a terrifying prospect because there are simply no more cuts they can make.
“They need concrete support now and without determined Government intervention they are at risk of deep hardship like nothing we’ve seen in this country for many years.”
As part of its ‘It Doesn’t add up’ campaign, Age UK is calling on pensioners to fill out a survey on its website regarding the cost of living crisis, which will be used to pressure the Government to take action.
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