Age UK: Elderly suffering mental health issues due to rising cost of living
As the cost of living crisis grips the nation, new research from Age UK has revealed the devastating impact on older people’s mental health and wellbeing.
With millions struggling to make ends meet, the charity is launching a campaign to offer practical solutions and reassurance to those in need.
In a study conducted in January, 60% of over 60s expressed worry about paying energy bills, while 45% were concerned about affording essentials like food.
Additionally, 49% of respondents were anxious about the impact of energy bills on their health.
Age UK’s campaign, entitled “Age UK. Know what to do”, aims to raise awareness of the challenges older people face during these unprecedented times.
The charity’s free and confidential Advice Line, available 365 days a year, empowers older individuals by providing expert advice and helping them claim additional financial support. In the past seven months, the Advice Line has identified over £2 million worth of unclaimed benefits.
The charity also offers The Silver Line Helpline and Telephone Friendship Service, providing emotional support and companionship to those who need it most.
Dame Judi Dench, Age UK supporter, said, “With the cost of everyday items rising so rapidly, it’s no wonder so many older people are anxious about their future and how they will be able to manage.”
“It’s important to not only shine a light on the issues worrying many of those who are older, but also on the vital support the Charity offers and the fact that there is help available.”
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said; “Our new research tells us there are a lot of older people who are worried sick at the moment, particularly about how they can keep their heads above water when every time they go to the supermarket they see that prices have risen again. From conversations with older people we know that some live in total dread of their next fuel bill, and are at their wits end as they try to stay ahead of energy costs like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
“In our experience at Age UK, most older people are resourceful and resilient, and determined to be self-sufficient, but this is an exceptionally challenging winter, especially if you are an older person without a lot of money to go round at the best of times. Our new campaign points out that life can seem ok on the surface, but underneath it an older person may be finding their situation incredibly stressful, because of the horrible uncertainty about prices and the worry they may be unable to make ends meet, with no obvious way out.
“At Age UK we want older people and their families and friends to know that at Age UK we are here for them, we stand with them, and we will help them find the best solution for whatever is troubling them, and support them with the next steps. We totally understand why so many are so worried, but we want them to know that whatever they are facing there is reason for hope, we are here to help, and they are not alone.
“Through the Charity’s Advice Line and Telephone Friendship Service, Age UK is able to provide emotional and practical support to older people who so badly need it.However, with demand for our services rising, we can’t do it on our own. Find out how you can help by visiting www.ageuk.org.uk.”
- To find out more about Age UK’s campaign, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/know. For support, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/support or call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65.
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