Official figures for England and Wales show an increase in the number in winter deaths. An estimated 31,100 excess winter deaths occurred in 2012/13 – a 29% increase on the previous winter.
The Office for National Statistics data, which compares deaths in winter months with averages in other seasons, shows most of the deaths involved people over 75.
In the context of an increasingly high emphasis placed by primary care services on prevention rather than treatment, Home Improvement Agencies have a proven record of helping older and vulnerable people make their home a warmer environment conducive to better health and wellbeing.
On average, over a 100,000 handyperson jobs are completed every year, which can include works like fixing radiators, draught excluding and other energy efficiency measures.
In addition, charities like FILT can help by offering much needed funds for the works to be delivered in a timely and efficient manner. Last winter FILT, under the Warm Homes Service, provide targeted and focused support to clients facing fuel poverty and reached over 6,000 householders.
Andy Chaplin, Director at Foundations said: ‘With an ageing population and tough economic times, it is essential that we focus on ‘the home’ to ensure we improve energy efficiency and keep people warm, reduce the risk of falls and help to alleviate the impact of long term conditions. Home Improvement Agencies and Handyperson Services are perfectly placed to engage with these vulnerable people and assist health and social care in enabling people to remain healthy and independent in their own homes.’