Power outages are expected across the UK this winter, and it’s worrying news for everyone – especially the elderly.
Research by the Center for Aging Better found that up to 1.6 million people would be at high risk of serious injury at home due to power outages.
According to reports, if there is a shortage of energy supplies this winter, the UK may experience continuous power outages for three hours.
People 55 and older who live in a Class 1 fall hazard home can be injured during the colder months of the year because they don’t have enough sun protection.
The report highlights that domestic falls cost the NHS a staggering £374m a year – due to a lack of investment in making buildings and homes safer.
The Center for Aging Better is calling for a retrofit program to make older homes more energy efficient and to introduce minimum accessibility standards to all new builds to reduce the risk of falls.
The report highlights that older people are already limiting energy use due to the cost of living crisis – and combined with power outages, accidents are likely to be high.
Holly Holder, associate director of housing at the Center for Better Aging, said: “The extreme nature of the solutions used this winter, energy price caps, warm banks and now possible energy blackouts, just goes to show the extreme nature of the costs – we face life and energy crisis.
“The fact that so many people in this country have homes that pose a very real threat to their health underscores the low quality of the housing stock. Poor housing can cause or worsen health outcomes, reduce a person’s quality of life, and even lead to premature death.
“Low-income homeowners, especially those with health conditions, need more support at the national and local levels to help them bring their homes up to a basic standard of decency.”
The Department of Upgrade, Housing and Communities has been contacted for a response.