FREEZING temperatures and ongoing lockdown restrictions have created the “perfect storm” for older people, a charity has warned.

Age Scotland raised concerns about the welfare of thousands of pensioners in local towns and villages after the area was hit with a big freeze that saw the mercury plunge well below zero.

It says the winter lockdown has also led to many older people feeling more isolated than ever and reluctant to ask for help.

Now the charity is urging people to do their bit to help by checking on their older friends, neighbours and relatives.

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland chief executive, said: “Unfortunately, the combination of severe weather and the winter lockdown is creating a perfect storm, putting older people at risk of isolation and ill health.

“Snow and icy conditions make it difficult to get out for essential shopping or medical appointments but many are reluctant to ask for help.

“We’re also worried that many older people will be putting their health at risk by failing to heat their homes adequately.

“We’re urging everyone not to forget about their older relatives, friends and neighbours during this cold snap. Simply picking up the phone or knocking on someone’s door to see if they need a little extra help could make a huge difference, especially if they are feeling isolated and unable to leave their home.”

The charity is also encouraging older people to make sure they are claiming all of the benefits they are entitled to.

Mr Sloan added: “Older people are at greatest risk from cold temperatures but also more likely to experience fuel poverty.

“Our friendly helpline advisors can quickly check if you are missing out on Pension Credit and Warm Home Discounts by calling 0800 12 44 222.”