The owners of a nursing home in Luton have launched their 2021 winter warmth appeal.
Friends of the Elderly, which operates Little Bramingham Farm as well as nursing homes, day care services and a grant service for low-income elderly people across England, has launched its call as part of its ongoing commitment to promoting the mental health and physical health and wellbeing of the elderly at the center of all activities.
One of the biggest problems for many older adults, especially those living alone, is not keeping their homes warm enough during the cold and cold winter months. When temperatures drop below 8 ° C (46.4 ° F), the elderly can become vulnerable and prone to increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, flu, pneumonia, and in extreme, severe cases, lower temperatures – hypothermia.
Mark Wilson, Friends of the Elderly’s Engagement Director, said, “Every day we receive depressed and discouraged calls from many elderly people who may live alone, desperate for help and support, in unsafe conditions, or in dire situations. Most of the time, they have no other place to turn and Friends of the Elderly is their last and only hope.
“Many of the callers need financial support, others physical or material help, and some emotional comfort. The inquiries we receive are not exaggerated or complicated, just humble inquiries that will make a positive, constructive and helpful difference to the daily life and wellbeing of this elderly person. “
Heating – and having hot water – is essential as a body temperature of 35 ° C or less can cause many health problems in an elderly person, such as heart attacks, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse. The elderly have a thinner layer of fat under their skin, making them more susceptible to the cold and conditions like diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, and kidney disease, which can restrict blood flow and lower body temperature. and living in a very cold house can lead to hypothermia in severe conditions.
Mark continued, “After receiving a touching and emotional phone call from a vulnerable elderly couple – Vera and Henry – we were able to donate £ 500 for their new kettle. The couple live in a 1930s bungalow and when the boiler broke last winter they unfortunately didn’t have the money to buy a new one.
“Vera told us that they had exhausted all other options and that we were their last hope. Henry is retired and Vera retired early because of her arthritis. They had worked all their lives – Henry a car mechanic and Vera an optician. In 2014, Vera had her spine fused due to a degenerative disease which, along with her arthritis, made her unable to work. The couple are not eligible for government support and live on Henry’s pension.
Vera also told us that if the Elderly Care Friends hadn’t helped, they would have to borrow the money, which would have resulted in high interest rates, so they are very grateful for our help and are both relieved to have a working kettle around Keeping her home – and her – warm this winter. “
Another beneficiary of the charity’s winter warmth appeal is 72-year-old Frank. To support his family, Frank worked for the same trucking company for 26 years, hauling hazardous chemicals across Europe and the UK. Frank said it was a great life to be single, but he missed his family if he just did the tedious work of making his family have a good life.
In 2017, Frank’s wife unfortunately died of cancer and for the first time it was unusually quiet in his house. With the additional outbreak of the COVID pandemic, financial troubles and the absence of his family and friends and the opportunity to visit him, his everyday life became increasingly challenging and Frank’s health suffered.
Frank, who has a pension loan, calculates his finances in pennies every week. His gas and electricity are for everything in his house – hot water, heating, the stove and his stair lift. Frank found he never had enough money and there always seemed to be a choice between eating out or filling up on utility bills. Frank, who has type 2 diabetes, which has caused painful nerve damage to his feet and legs, has heart disease, and very high blood pressure coupled with stress, has been told by his doctors to eat better, but he just hasn’t had that Money to do this – consequently, his multiple health conditions deteriorated.
The cold, dark days brought further hardship for Frank. With no light or electricity, he was unable to use his stairlift to get to bed at night.
Frank was doing so badly that on one really bad night he had to hit his 911 button to call an ambulance, resulting in several days of hospitalization before being allowed home.
Help was on hand when Frank’s housing officer applied to Friends of the Elderly for a £ 400 grant to replenish the gas and electricity, which made an incredible difference. Frank said he is much better now, his home is warm, he has hot water and can use his stair lift to go upstairs and sleep in his bed. Plus, since Frank doesn’t have to worry about his gas and electricity bills, he now has the extra money to buy and enjoy real food.
Frank said that he couldn’t believe the difference the scholarship made and that it helped him 100% with his stress and anxiety – he calls the charity a lifesaver.
“It is alarming that two million pensioners in the UK live in poverty and earlier this year it was reported that nearly three million elderly people turn off their heating because they cannot afford the energy bills. These are some of the reasons our Winter Warmer Appeal is so vital to the elderly who are at risk this winter, “said Mark.
“Helping old people like Vera, Henry and Frank is the focus of our Winter Warmth Appeal 2021 and helps them stay warm, healthy, comfortable and safe. Our appeal is entirely focused on helping elderly people who are alone or who have difficulty coping with the wintry days and nights.
“Our winter warmth appeal is of crucial importance as it enables us to help many elderly people, their well-being and their daily life in the cold and lonely winter months, to support them and to make physical, tangible and actual positive changes cause. Every penny we receive is funded by the Edward Gostling Foundation and helps ensure that older people don’t feel alone, isolated, cold or forgotten this winter. “