Wednesday, 17 July, 2024
Home » 8 out of 10 spinal cord injured people are concerned that their financial situation won’t allow them to survive next winter

8 out of 10 spinal cord injured people are concerned that their financial situation won’t allow them to survive next winter

by Leah Llano

8 out of 10 spinal cord injured people are concerned about how they will survive next winter due to the cost-of-living crisis according to a new survey released today by the Spinal Injuries Association.

The ‘What Matters’ survey, which looked at almost 1000 responses from spinal cord injured people, found that the majority of respondents have stretched themselves to the limit this winter by diving into savings or running up huge debt. With benefits falling short, some have been forced to turn to food banks and warm spaces with one so desperate that they admitted to resorting to stealing food from shops.

Despite the news that energy costs are coming down in the short term, the future is uncertain with overall energy costs still much higher. Many have real concerns that they have no real way of increasing their income to absorb any additional costs that next winter will inevitably bring.

Spinal cord injury brings mobility issues and in many cases paralysis below the point of injury but there are many hidden effects such as an inability to regulate body temperature. For a spinal cord injured person simply switching off the heating is not a safe option and some have to use additional equipment such as hoists or stairlifts which take on even more electricity.

Many reported that the cold adversely affects their pain levels and their ability to walk with some struggling to actually move around their own home.  Some resorted to wearing ski clothes indoors or wrapping themselves in blankets and duvets and staying in bed all day, rather than turning on the heating.  Peter Mayell from Sutton-in-Ashfield said:

“I feel petrified and scared to death currently spending £430 a month on gas and electricity and I don’t know how I will survive next winter”.

Nik Hartley OBE, CEO of Spinal Injuries Association said:

“We’re shocked and saddened by what we’ve learnt. It remains clear from our responses that spinal cord injured people are being failed. Failed by a health and social care system in crisis and failed by a lack of coordination and financial support when they really need it.  We will continue to support our members to ensure that they are receiving all of the discounts to which they are entitled and know where to find any additional help”

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