Winter Preparedness Campaign 2021

Published: 16 November 2021

Winter should be a time for family, festivity and looking confidently to the future, but we all know that there are some significant challenges that face older people as a result of short, cold, wet days and seasonal virus transmission. The continued impact of Covid-19 on our lives is a further complication and serves to exacerbate long established risks to wellbeing that we need to address.

In many instances, it’s the time for prudent healthcare to come into its own, with good advice and minimal support hopefully being all that’s required to ensure we manage this winter. However, where we have frail and more vulnerable family members and loved ones, there are organisations that can help us all manage better. Remember, all you need to do is ask! Preparation is far better than crisis.

Subsequently And Care & Repair Cymru, Age Cymru and Age Connects, have come together, to combine forces and help address risks to health & wellbeing this winter. This will be done by targeting four different aspects;

Falls Prevention

❖ Across the UK an older person is falling every 6 and a half seconds
❖ Every 30 seconds an ambulance is called to assist an older person who has fallen
❖ Every 5 hours an older person will die as a result of a fall in their home
❖ 500 older people fall each day in their homes
❖ Falls costs the NHS £2.3b

Keeping Warm

❖ Every winter 25,000 older people die needlessly, as a result of cold weather in the UK.
❖ There were 2,000 Excess Winter Deaths (EWD) in Wales in 2019-20, a third from people living in cold homes
❖ In the UK 4.5 million older people in fuel poverty and there are 155,000 households living in fuel poverty in Wales
❖ Across the UK £15 billion benefits go unclaimed every year
❖ £1.36bn cost of cold homes to the NHS

Keeping Connected

❖ Age Cymru estimate over 75,000 people aged over 65 in Wales are often or always lonely
❖ Alzheimer’s Society survey found 38% of people with dementia felt lonely
❖ 24% of those aged 75+ in very bad health are lonely
❖ Loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%
❖ Over a third of people aged 50+ in Wales are digitally excluded and do not use online services, missing out on savings of up to £560 a year from shopping and paying bills online
❖ 11% of the population of Wales (300,000 people) are digitally excluded, cannot access information and advice or keep connected

Staying Healthy

❖ Average life expectancy in Wales is 78 years for men and 82 years for women, and they will be living on average 17 and 20 years respectively living in poor health, which will impact on their quality of life and use of services.
❖ Over 142,000 older people are managing with long-term conditions in Wales, limiting the lives of 24% over 60 and 35% over 75s

The campaign launches on 1 November. The campaign video is available at; Look After Yourself and Each Other this Winter (British Sign Language Version) – YouTube.

  • Third Sector Support Wales
  • Welsh Government
  • Investing in Volunteers
  • Quality in Befriending
  • Cyber essentials
  • Cynnig Cymraeg
  • Cultural Competence Silver Award