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Financial support for elderly needs clarification

1st November 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The charity Age UK has reported a 42% annual increase in the number of calls that their advice team is receiving. According to an analysis of these calls, most were financial queries.

The statistics show that, more and more, older people are asking for advice on how to maximise their incomes so that they can cover the cost of essentials, which can range from basics like food and heating to adaptations such as a walk in bath or shower for those who have mobility difficulties. 63,000 phone call enquiries were received in 2012/13 about money matters, with calls about pensions and benefits increasing by around 41 per cent from 2011/12 to 2012/13.

According to figures from Age UK, they have helped older people who have contacted them reclaim around £145 million in unclaimed benefits they were entitled to, but they have also point out that many people are still reluctant to seek financial help, with up to £5.5 billion still going unclaimed every year. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, says: "We are really pleased older people are contacting us about their financial difficulties", but warns that a lack of knowledge about the financial support available to older people and those with mobility difficulties has resulted in many struggling to keep afloat and that they are "simply going without, putting their physical and mental health at risk".

It is important that older people know what financial help is available to them, particularly those with mobility difficulties, as they could be eligible for extra funding to cover the cost of care and home adaptations such as curved stairlifts. Why not call Age UK's advice line on 0800 169 6565 to get helpful financial advice or head to gov.uk to find out more about the benefits and financial help that are available directly from the government?

Image Credit: Oliver Quinlan (flickr.com)