Storm Bella: UK battered with 100mph winds as fears escalate for elderly living alone

Snow and ice warnings are covering swathes of the UK, as freezing temperatures during Storm Bella prompt concerns for elderly people living alone. Bitter winds reaching speeds of more than 100mph and icy conditions have plagued the Christmas break, with some areas facing 0C (32F) chills. A yellow weather warning for snow and ice is in place until 10am on Monday, covering a huge area of the country between Stoke-on-Trent in the south and Inverness in the north. Meanwhile, almost 300 flood warnings were in place on Sunday afternoon, with the River Great Ouse in Bedfordshire bursting its banks onto adjacent playing fields. As temperatures plummet, concerns have been raised that elderly people - particularly those living under the tightest restrictions in Tier 4 areas - may be forced to deal with cold weather alone this winter. Charities say we need to "up our game" in the coming weeks and support those at risk of getting "marooned" by flood water or left shivering if their heating malfunctions. A Rolls Royce which was hit by a fallen tree Credit: Glyn Kirk/AFP Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Over the next few days, thousands of people of all ages, including older people, will be suffering the consequences of Storm Bella and waiting for their power to be reconnected or for their property to dry out. “A whole host of practical things need thinking about, like how to ensure an older person isn’t stuck half way upstairs on a stair lift if the electricity goes down, or what to do if an older person dependent on a particular drug is unable to get hold of it if local shops are cut off or flooded. "The nightmare scenario is that an older person is left marooned upstairs at home and forgotten during a bad storm or flood: the emergency services do a fantastic job and communities often rally round magnificently too, but we can’t leave these things to chance. “At the risk of 'telling our grannies how to suck eggs', we advise any older person who lives in an area particularly exposed to floods or storms and their families to think about how they can plan for an emergency, just in case. "For example, they need to make sure their home insurance is up to date and let friends and family know how best they can get in touch if there is an emergency – particularly if they don’t currently use a mobile phone. They should remember to plan for their pets too, if they have them!” Elderly residents are also being urged to keep their homes heated at 18C throughout the property, and up to 21C in the room they spend the most time in during the day.

Storm Bella: UK battered with 100mph winds as fears escalate for elderly living alone

Snow and ice warnings are covering swathes of the UK, as freezing temperatures during Storm Bella prompt concerns for elderly people living alone.

Bitter winds reaching speeds of more than 100mph and icy conditions have plagued the Christmas break, with some areas facing 0C (32F) chills.

A yellow weather warning for snow and ice is in place until 10am on Monday, covering a huge area of the country between Stoke-on-Trent in the south and Inverness in the north.

Meanwhile, almost 300 flood warnings were in place on Sunday afternoon, with the River Great Ouse in Bedfordshire bursting its banks onto adjacent playing fields.

As temperatures plummet, concerns have been raised that elderly people - particularly those living under the tightest restrictions in Tier 4 areas - may be forced to deal with cold weather alone this winter.

Charities say we need to "up our game" in the coming weeks and support those at risk of getting "marooned" by flood water or left shivering if their heating malfunctions.

A Rolls Royce which was hit by a fallen tree Credit: Glyn Kirk/AFP

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Over the next few days, thousands of people of all ages, including older people, will be suffering the consequences of Storm Bella and waiting for their power to be reconnected or for their property to dry out.

“A whole host of practical things need thinking about, like how to ensure an older person isn’t stuck half way upstairs on a stair lift if the electricity goes down, or what to do if an older person dependent on a particular drug is unable to get hold of it if local shops are cut off or flooded.

"The nightmare scenario is that an older person is left marooned upstairs at home and forgotten during a bad storm or flood: the emergency services do a fantastic job and communities often rally round magnificently too, but we can’t leave these things to chance.

“At the risk of 'telling our grannies how to suck eggs', we advise any older person who lives in an area particularly exposed to floods or storms and their families to think about how they can plan for an emergency, just in case.

"For example, they need to make sure their home insurance is up to date and let friends and family know how best they can get in touch if there is an emergency – particularly if they don’t currently use a mobile phone. They should remember to plan for their pets too, if they have them!”

Elderly residents are also being urged to keep their homes heated at 18C throughout the property, and up to 21C in the room they spend the most time in during the day.