Winter is upon us and while we are thinking of Christmas parties, shopping and food, please spare a thought for the elderly. More than half a million older people in the UK will spend Christmas Day alone. This is bad enough, but every winter, thousands of older people in the UK become seriously ill or even die due to the cold weather.
This is why I welcome Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign. It’s not just about the temperature outside, although that is part of it, it’s about spreading warmth in other ways: visiting an elderly neighbour; doing a bit of shopping for an older relative; or even helping to keep their paths clear from snow and ice. In 2012, it is unacceptable that people should die due to cold weather and neglect.
Part of the campaign is to put pressure on local MPs, MSPs and councils to make care of the elderly a priority. This is something we should all think about doing.
Our society is getting older and the number of elderly people is growing. We are all going to be faced with old age and it would be nice to think that people would do the same for us one day.
Associate, Pagan Osborne and member of Solicitors for the Elderly
Queen Street, Edinburgh