MORE THAN 20,000 elderly people died from cold-related illnesses in England and Wales last winter, despite the government's claims to be helping the poorest elderly people. Mervyn Kohler of Help the Aged says the number of winter deaths among old people is a 'peculiarly British problem.
'When countries with much more severe winters than ours have much lower death rates it becomes obvious that something is badly wrong.' Help the Aged has also warned that the government's much-heralded winter fuel payments are doing nothing to stop the rise in unnecessary deaths. Around 70,000 elderly women were denied the fuel payments altogether last year simply because their sixtieth birthdays fell after the mid-September cut-off date.