With the rising energy costs set to soar, Will Donnelly – Care Expert and CoFounder of Lottie – has warned about the risks to the elderly community, after a surge in online searches from pensioners looking for support.
After the energy regulator Ofgem announced a 54% increase in the price cap, there is concern for the older population about how they will cope with these rising costs. Over the last 3 months, online searches from pensioners searching for cheap energy deals has surged on Google:
- 100% increase in searches on Google for ‘cheapest energy prices for pensioners’ and ‘bestenergy tariffs for pensioners’
- 50% increase in searches on Google for ‘best gas and electric prices for pensioners’
Many households across the UK will be faced with increased energy bills, causing a huge amount of stress and worry for the elderly population, especially those on a limited income. How will the rising energy costs impact the elderly community?
Here, Will Donnelly, Care Expert and Co-Founder of Lottie, shares his concerns: “It is natural to feel stressed and anxious about the rising energy costs, as it will impact everyone. The on-going energy
crisis – coupled with the increased living costs – places a huge strain on the elderly community. So, it’s no surprise that the elderly community has turned to Google to look for support, as it’s a worrying time for everyone.
Previous findings from Age UK have also found that millions of older people are dreading the imminent price change.
There is a risk that the elderly community will become even more isolated, because of these rising costs. Social isolation and loneliness can have a devastating effect on our physical health and wellbeing, leading to higher levels of stress, a weakened immune system, and increased feelings of depression.
So, it is more important than ever to check in on our elderly relatives and neighbours; and where possible, offer practical support to those in need.” If you are concerned about an elderly loved one or neighbour, there are practical ways to offer support:
Remember to check in
We all know how hectic life can feel, especially as we are now faced with increased living costs. However, a simple phone call or regular visit to your elderly loved one can make a huge difference to how they are feeling. Staying connected reduces feelings of loneliness, as well as providing your loved one with a safe space to open up if they are struggling.
Share practical tips
You may find it helpful to offer practical support to those in the elderly community. For instance, encourage your loved one to avoid leaving their digital devices on standby and turning off lights when leaving a room.
Check their appliance efficiency ratings too, as these simple gestures can ease their worries. Many new appliances come with an energy rating, so you could offer to help them find the best energy rating you can.
Talk to others
Looking after an elderly loved one can place a huge strain on your own physical and emotional health. Firstly, be kind to yourself and make the time to do the things you enjoy, whether that is meeting friends or heading outdoors.
Seek support together
If you are worried or concerned about an elderly relative – for instance that they are neglecting themselves or they are unable to cope with the energy crisis – it is important to seek help. A good starting point is to reach out to your local adult social services where your loved one or elderly neighbour lives. Where possible, try to discuss this with them, as it can ease any worries.
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