New figures released by the ONS show that over the winter of 2017-18 there were nearly 46,000 excess winter deaths among people aged 65 and over. Excess winter deaths compares the number of deaths between December and March to those during the rest of the year.
Responding to the new figures, Age UK's Charity Director Caroline Abrahams, said:
“Last winter there were nearly 46,000 excess winter deaths amongst people aged 65 and over – a shocking 92 per cent of all excess deaths – equating to 379 older people a day. These distressing figures are now the highest we’ve seen in over 40 years.
“A toxic cocktail of poor housing, high energy prices and ill health can make winter a dangerous time for many older people, and tragically it is the oldest old and those who are the most vulnerable who particularly suffer the consequences.
“We know such high levels of excess winter deaths are not inevitable. As a country we are not doing enough to ensure our older population stays warm and well throughout the harsh winter months.
“Age UK is urging older people to do everything possible to protect themselves against the threats posed by the winter cold – and it is vital that we pull together and make sure we all help those around us.”
Anyone who is concerned about staying warm and healthy this winter should call the Charity's advice line free of charge on 0800 169 6565 or visit ageuk.org.uk/winter for a free copy of its annually updated guide Winter wrapped up and to browse our advice on staying warm and healthy in winter.