Elderly advised to use a hot water bottle to counteract low winter temperatures

MILLIONS of older people struggling to pay their energy bills should heat just one room in the day to get through the winter, new advice says today.
The official guidance tells the elderly to warm the living room and then their bedroom at night – and use a hot water bottle.

Other tips include wearing slippers with lots of thin layers of clothes to keep out the cold with regular hot meals and drinks through the day.

The new advice suggests the elderly heat their homes to at least 64.4F (18C) to protect their health.

The quality of this advice to pensioners is on about the same level as our light hearted advice on saving energy costs:

But angry campaigners for the rights of older people say many are forced to choose whether to “heat or eat” as bills soar.

Last year’s cold weather saw 31,100 excess deaths – or around 260 a day, mainly among over-75s. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “It is shocking that each winter an older person dies every seven minutes from cold weather.

“Turning up the heating is not an option for many older people struggling with high energy bills.”

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Our comment: we have probably all come across cases where pensioners live in a too cold environment when they could afford to use more heating. A challenge for our powers of persuasion.