Evidence suggests that a cold home can lead to mental health problems or exacerbate mental health issues that a client may already be suffering from. It’s very easy for someone to start to feel depressed or anxious when they can’t afford to pay their energy bills. People can also start to feel low if their home is cold, or even worried that their faulty boiler could break altogether.
A cold home can even lead to social exclusion for a number of reasons:
- It may stop somebody from inviting friends round due to embarassment about the state of their property due to fuel poverty.
- It may stop somebody from inviting friends or relatives round due to fears that the cold may exacerbate their health conditions too.
- They may not wish to see anybody because of the low feelings brought on by a cold home.
- If somebody has already begun to suffer from physical illness because of a cold or damp home, they may not go out as often, which means that friends or family may get used to not seeing them.
During the winter months, especially when it is snowing, older people often avoid going out altogether. This is why it’s so important to make sure that they are living in safe, warm homes.