Tuesday, November 16, 2004

 

Deaths among the elderly on the rise in Scotland

There is a new and alarming statistic out now on the number of deaths from the cold in Scotland. This article is so sad! I don't know if there's any way to actually help, but I have posted a link to the Help the Aged website. Surely, even a small donation would help, I would think.


Winter deaths rise 'shameful'
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable during the winter


The number of winter deaths in Scotland last year were almost 10 times the figure of deaths on the country's roads over the same period, statistics show.

Help the Aged and Scottish Gas have joined forces to highlight the dangers posed to the elderly and vulnerable.

Figures show that 2,900 people died of cold-related illnesses in 2003, an increase of 400 on the previous year.

Richard Meade, Help the Aged policy officer, said the statistics contributed to "the nation's shame".

The partnership is designed to find ways to minimise preventable deaths in Scotland and to tackle issues such as fuel policy.

Old people will receive an information pack entitled The Cold Can Kill which gives advice on how best to keep warm, claim benefits and insulate their homes.

To the nation's shame, these numbers of unnecessary winter deaths are significantly higher than in comparable European countries

Richard MeadeHelp the Aged Mr Meade said: "Last winter more than 2,500 people over the age of 65 died as a result of the cold in Scotland.

"To the nation's shame, these numbers of unnecessary winter deaths are significantly higher than in comparable European countries.

"Fuel poverty has been identified as one of the main contributory factors to winter deaths among older people, and whilst welcoming its successful reduction through the ongoing implementation of the Scottish Executive's central heating programme, we are worried that the number of excess winter deaths has increased this year.

Information pack

"It goes to show there is no room to be complacent and we believe the executive's efforts could benefit from improved levels of research into the other factors responsible for the high number of deaths among older people in the winter."

Scottish Gas director Tom Laidlaw said: "We have led the way with the introduction of innovative schemes such as this to help and would like to see all available resources across the public, private and voluntary sectors effectively targeted at those most in need."

The Cold Can Kill pack can be downloaded from the Help the Aged website.

BBC NEWS Scotland Winter deaths rise 'shameful'

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