Suffolk: Charity plea to check on older people during cold snap

Woman sleeping by heater

Woman sleeping by heater - Credit: Getty Images/BananaStock RF

CHARITY bosses have urged the public to check on older people living near week as more snow and ice hits the region.

Age UK Suffolk said it was vital that vulnerable people were safe and warm as the cold snap goes into its second week.

Speaking last night a charity spokeswoman said the cold weather can put older people at greater risk of heart attacks, strokes as well as increasing the likelihood and severity of flu, chest infections and other respiratory problems.

Michelle Mitchell, Age UK’s Charity Director General, who said there are around 8,000 extra deaths for every one degree drop in average temperature, added:“It’s vital that older people and their families take sensible precautions to protect themselves from the cold.”

Dr David Kanka, NHS Suffolk’s deputy director of public health, said a few simple steps could make the difference between life or death.

He added: “Every year we see increased deaths in the winter, many of which could be prevented. Heating the house is important – in the day and also making sure that the bedroom is 18C (64F) overnight.

“Wearing lots of thin layers keeps you warmer than one thick one.

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“Keeping active during the day will also keep you warm, even moving around the house once an hour will help. Try to check if neighbours or relatives you think may be vulnerable need any help.”

The advice comes days after the EADT revealed that The Surviving Winter campaign has officially outdone the £55,000 total set last year, with donations and support still coming in.

Charity chiefs lauded the efforts of readers who have contributed £56,631 to help vulnerable people struggling with heating bills but said more lives could be saved if those less in need donated their winter fuel payments.

David Sheepshanks, chairman of The Suffolk Foundation who are also leading the campaign with Age UK Suffolk, said: “We are immensely grateful to all those who have donated to our vital Surviving Winter campaign this year, which is already doing so much to help alleviate fuel poverty through the distribution of harsh winter grants by our partners Age UK Suffolk.

“As we approach the coldest period of the year, and with many winter bills due to land on doorsteps soon, we would be so grateful to anyone who feels able to join in this special appeal and make a direct difference this winter.”

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