Thousands of Cambridge residents aged over 65 are in fuel poverty and hundreds often suffer from loneliness, new research from Age UK has found after it experienced a 12% increase in calls to its national advice line this winter compared with the same period last year.
Specific data for the city, where 14,118 residents are aged over 65, showed that 910 older people are often lonely. 5422 households are officially in fuel poverty. In light of the research, Daniel Zeichner MP, who is one of Parliament’s Age Champions, has warned: “The level of poverty among the over 65s in Cambridge is deeply worrying.”
Daniel Zeichner also raised concern about the state of social care in Cambridge after Cambridgeshire County Council recently refused powers from Government to raise council tax by up to 5% to help to stop the current crisis. In Cambridge, found Age UK, 1879 people aged over 65 provide unpaid care.
Daniel Zeichner added: “The figures confirm the hugely important role played by voluntary carers and relatives in looking after our older people. Everyone should feel safe and secure at home in later life and have access to high-quality health and social care services. Voluntary carers also deserve support from local services to provide much-needed respite. But the figures show how far away we are from achieving these aspirations.
“Each year, the demand for NHS services rises for our elderly population. But the County Council’s refusal to fund social care adequately means our hardworking doctors and nurses in Addenbrooke’s are struggling to pass vulnerable elderly patients into decent care.”