By Tessa Ogle, Managing Director for the Electrical Industries Charity

Many of us don’t put much thought and planning into our retirement, but without preparing for your future you could be faced with many issues that may prevent you from having a happy and secure retired life.

Age UK statistics outline that due to rising energy prices and leaky inefficient homes there are 1.14 million older people who are living in fuel poverty and are spending their winter in cold homes. This outlines the issue of increased health problems from living in a cold home which can include cardiovascular and respiratory problems and depression.

In the United Kingdom, there are 1.3 million people who work or have worked in the Electrical and Energy related sectors. 130,000 people are eligible for our support of whom 50,000 are pensioners who need support with day to day expenses, whether this is paying for household bills, debts or unexpected expenses.

To help retired colleagues in our industry, the Electrical Industries Charity has set up the Pensioner Support Programme. With the Pensioner Support Programme, the Charity helps retired colleagues and their families with issues including financial, emotional, health and family factors as well as giving them a way to connect with their retired colleagues. The Charity offers support with services including will writing assistance, legal advice, telephone counselling, debt advice, support for carers, financial assistance and grants.

In a recent example, the Charity helped an elderly couple, Alan and Linda Northcott, who are in their 60’s and are caring for their ill son. Alan worked in electronics testing and assembly but was forced to give up work when caring for his son become challenging, and his wife Linda was unable to manage alone. Their son Nicky, aged 38, has severe learning disabilities. He was born profoundly deaf, has no speech, is incontinent, epileptic, severely autistic and was recently diagnosed with a blood complaint which further complicated his care.

Alan and Linda are not in good health themselves as they suffer from high blood pressure, angina and arthritis. They are unable to have holidays alone as their son cannot be left alone with strangers. To help the elderly couple with a change of scenery and to recharge their batteries the Charity had granted a respite break for the family that had facilities to accommodate Nicky with his condition. The help from the Charity has given the family the respite they needed to keep going.

This is one of many examples that outline the advantages of being part of the Charity’s Programme because you never know what circumstances you could be facing in later life.

So perhaps it is time to give some serious thought to the Charity’s Pensioner Support Programme to make sure that you have the enjoyable retired life you deserve in the future.

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