Elderly fears this winter19th November 2012
A charity has warned that up to 25,000 needless deaths in the over-65 age group could happen this winter because of cold weather.
Age UK said people should check on their neighbours after a survey found a significant amount of older people were not receiving any help from the people they lived next door to.
The charity spoke to more than 1,000 people aged over 65 in the UK and said they estimated 3.5 million elderly people were not getting support from their neighbours.
The research revealed that 7% did not know their neighbours and more than a third (35%) were worried about how to stay warm at home this winter.
The respondents said they were concerned about slipping on icy pavements and 21% said they were anxious about being "stranded" at home.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK, said: "The winter can cause misery, avoidable illness and even death for too many older people."
"We're hoping to inspire everyone to act now to do their bit to lessen the impact of winter for older people this year. There is something simple that everyone can do from popping in to check on an older neighbour to making time for older relatives."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "Cold weather can be hazardous for our health, particularly for older people and those with respiratory illnesses."
"As winter approaches we should all be on our guard against health problems. By taking simple steps such as getting a free flu jab if you are in an at risk group, or popping in to check on older friends and neighbours, we can all play our part."
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