Skint pensioners live on biscuits and stay in bed all day because of rising energy prices

A new report by Charity Age UK estimates that two million elderly people will not be able to pay for basic necessities such as food, lights and heating over the next 12 months

An elderly woman sits in front of her laptop, stressed and worried
Two million elderly people will be unable to afford basic services because of the cost of living crisis, a new report warns

Needy pensioners are living on cookies and staying in bed all day to save money amid rising energy prices, a shock report revealed.

Charity Age UK paints a bleak picture of life for the older generation, with those on the lowest incomes spending a fifth of that on gas and electricity bills as a result of the energy price cap hike in April.

It is estimated that two million elderly people will not be able to pay for basic necessities such as food, lights and heating in the next 12 months.

Age UK’s It Doesn’t Add Up report revealed that many have only left home for health appointments and have driven their grandchildren, family and friends back to save money.

They get by on one meal a day, cut their own hair and bathe every two weeks to keep household bills down.

A retired couple told the charity: “Sometimes dinner is just biscuits”.

An elderly man living on a state pension said: “I feel anxious and depressed. I only shower every two weeks and go in the oven once a week. I don’t know what else I can do to pay the bills.”

The report warns pensioners who live on cookies


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And one woman in her 70s told Age UK it was like turning back the clock to the war years, adding: “I turned the heating off completely. Eat only one meal a day. I’m not complaining as growing up I learned to wear extra layers, cook and eat like my mother taught us during the war years.

“Now for entertainment I go to the park and listen to the radio. I can manage, but how awful that we in modern Britain have fallen so far behind in living standards.”

Age UK said its findings came ahead of regulator Ofgem’s warning on Tuesday that the energy price cap would rise by a further £800 to £2,800 in October.

She is now calling on the government to increase benefits and the state pension in line with inflation to help those on low incomes.

And it’s also demanding a one-off payment of £500 for those on the lowest incomes to help soften the blow from skyrocketing energy price hikes.

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Caroline Abrahams, Director of Charities at Age UK, said: “Speaking to older people who are dependent on their state pension certainly shows how serious the situation is for them.

“Something happens when you hear a woman in her 70s describe how she is applying strategies learned from her own parents’ experiences during World War II to stay solvent in 2022.

“Older people aren’t stupid, and they realize that if they’re struggling to stay afloat from today’s perspective, they’re going to go under in a few months.

“This makes it a terrifying time for them as they see their humble expectation of living decently in retirement slipping out of reach, certainly temporarily, possibly forever.

“The government must act quickly and decisively to help low and modest income retirees weather this storm.”

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