‘Not easy’ Widow, 65, struggles on late husband’s ‘small’ pension & state pension ‘top-up’

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Living on a low income has been found to take a toll on people’s emotional wellbeing. Older people living in poverty have also been found to be at risk of developing mental health problems in this sense.

This is a major worry for Christine, a 65-year-old woman, whose story has been shared exclusively with Express.co.uk

Christine lives alone in Yorkshire, following the death of her husband.

She is eligible for Pension Credit which she uses to make ends meet alongside a small private pension her husband left behind when he died.

However, her low income proves to be a constant source of worry and concern.

Christine has found she has to be constantly vigilant about her money.

As a result, she keeps a written record of all her outgoings, and monitors spending to make sure she sticks to a strict budget.

This, however, does not alleviate her anxiety, especially given the rising cost of living.

She said: “It’s a constant headache, always.

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“I am constantly having to keep a check on everything I spend. Not just now and again, constantly.

“And I do, and I am careful. I do make my money go round, but it’s not easy.”

Research conducted by Independent Age has shown older people on the lowest incomes have a higher risk of developing mental health issues.

The study found stress, scarcity of resources, and negative perceptions of poverty can all have an impact on a person’s mental health.

Christine is not the only older person who has expressed concerns about their mental health.

Yvonne, aged 76, remarked: “I mean, I’m on anti-depressants.

“Some days are really bad, and I’m really down, and other days I can be okay.

“It really depends on what is going on financially.”

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While Adrian, 66, added: “I’m on a knife edge, shall we say. I can just about survive, but I’m worried.”

Independent Age has called for the Government to take action to develop a strategy for older people living in poverty.

The charity has also called for the role of an Older Persons Commissioner to be established in both England and Scotland.

This, it states, could hold the Government to account and ensure provisions are made to reduce poverty in later life. 

Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) asking for comment.

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