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Getting Through Challenging Times: The Cost of Living Crisis in Later Life

As the temperature falls and costs rise, we can all admit that this is a rough start to the year. Older adults in particular are among the most isolated and vulnerable, so it is important that they receive the help and support they need in this challenging period. Below are some suggestions for older adults, which may ease the weight of the cost of living crisis.

Bills and Essential Costs

  1. Check if you are eligible for financial support, such as the energy bills support scheme, which entitles you to £400 to support energy bills over the winter months. Watersure and Winter Fuel Payments are other services which can offer financial support with bills. For those in low-income households or those on benefits, you may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount or Cold Weather Payments. The citizen’s advice also has lots of information on financial support and grants.

  1. It is not uncommon for older adults to forget to switch off lights and taps, so steps can be taken, such as posting up reminders and installing auto-off lighting, that may save electricity and water. Technology in the home can also help with this. For instance, installing devices that can set reminders, smart devices and virtual assistants may be able to help. You can find more information about these technologies here.

  1. There are also many online resource sites which offer advice for coping with the rising cost of living. A helpline at National Energy Action can be called if you or anyone you know is struggling to heat their home. Warm Welcome also spreads the word about warm spaces open to people during the winter. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Society has a web page of advice on how to support other older adults during this time.

Care for Older Adults

  1. The Alzheimer’s society offer advice on how to go about paying for care as an older adult in England.

  1. The minimum income guarantee works to ensure that older adults have enough money left for living costs, after care costs.

  1. The competition and markets authority release advice on the consumer rights of care home residents and their families.

Financial Support for Unpaid Carers

  1. Find out if you are eligible for a carer's allowance if you are caring for someone with dementia. The Alzheimer's society provides guidance on this support here.

  2. By completing a carer’s assessment allows your local authority to assess your needs and see how they can help. You may be eligible for this support. You can find guidance here.

As well as taking practical and financial advice, it is also important to look after your mental health and well-being during this time. Mind has some great signposting advice on where to turn to if you are struggling with your mental health. At The Blair Academy, we emphasise giving older adults opportunities to feel connected to one another and to move and exercise. Any mood boosting activities are crucial to well-being.

It is a very hard period for everyone, and especially older adults. We hope this advice helps those who are struggling.


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