Don’t die of ignorance

Stay warm this winter - urgent advice for the elderly.

CHARITIES have issued urgent advice to the elderly after two pensioners froze to death following falls in their gardens.

Lilian Jenkinson, 80, and William Wilson, 84, are thought to have suffered hypothermia after slipping on ice and lying undiscovered for hours.

As the cold snap continues, older people are advised to keep room temperatures above 21 degrees to stay healthy – and not to worry about the cost of fuel bills.

Charity Independent Age says pensioners should take practical steps around the home to keep warm.

It stresses that assistance is available to help the elderly pay heating bills.

Rebecca Law, the charity’s spokeswoman, said: “Keep radiators clear, put draft excluders around the doors and windows and use heavy or thermal curtains to stop heat escaping from the windows.

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“Eat warm, nutritious meals and drink lots of hot drinks.

“Try and keep moving as much as possible. If you are unable to walk around, make small movements such as wiggling your toes or moving your arms and legs.”

Isolated pensioners, who are unable to get out to buy essentials and cannot contact a friend, neighbour or family member, are urged to get in touch with local social services.

Ms Law says it is vital that the elderly ensure they claim all of the money they are entitled to from the government.

Although the winter fuel payment is paid to people on Guarantee Credit automatically when the temperature drops below a certain level, you can find out more by calling 08459 151515.

You can also find out if you are eligible for a place on the priority services register by calling Energywatch on 08459 060708.

And you can make sure your home is heat efficient by making the most of help available through schemes such as the Warm Front Initiative and grants from your local council. Further information is available from the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 336699.