Hundreds of Trafford residents ‘die in poverty every year’

Hundreds of people die in poverty in Trafford every year, according to estimates published for the first time.

Marie Curie, an end-of-life charity, said it was “shocking” that more than 90,000 people in the UK die each year while living in poverty and called for urgent government action.

And the findings may be an underestimate, as research by Loughborough University on behalf of the charity analyzed data from before both the coronavirus pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

According to estimates, 390 people died in Trafford in 2019 after experiencing poverty in the last year of their lives – about 19 percent of the total deaths in the area.

They were among the 14,565 annual deaths in poverty in the North West and nearly 93,000 across the UK.

More than 15 per cent of the nearly 605,000 people who died in the UK in 2019 are estimated to have experienced poverty in the last year before their death.

Researchers modeled estimates using a combination of data from a survey that closely tracked the lives of thousands of people from 2009 to 2019, and local figures on deprivation.

Most of the findings used the Social Metrics Commission’s definition of poverty, which examines the extent to which a person’s resources, after housing costs, meet their needs — including “inevitable costs” such as childcare and disabilities.

Juliet Stone, of the Center for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, said the cost of living is high and rising, making the physical and financial challenges for people with terminal illnesses even more difficult.

She said: “The number of people dying in poverty has almost certainly increased further since the period covered by our study and will only increase in the coming months as the cost of living increases.”

They found that 68,000 (about three quarters) of people who died in poverty were of retirement age — representing 13 percent of the more than 500,000 deaths among this group.

About 25,000 were of working age, but this equated to 28 percent of the 90,000 deaths in this cohort — making them more than twice as likely to die in poverty than those past retirement age.

The research suggests that women and people from ethnic minority groups are particularly vulnerable to end-of-life poverty.

Of the 390 deaths in poverty in Trafford in 2019, an estimated 317 were pensioners (18 percent of the group) and 73 of working age (26 percent).

Marie Curie is calling for urgent action to give terminally ill working-age people access to their state pensions, and warned that the benefit system is failing to lift people of working age out of poverty at the end of their lives.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of the charity, said: “No one wants to imagine spending the last months of their life shivering in a cold house, struggling to feed themselves and their children, and weighed down by the fear of getting into debt. come.

“But for 90,000 people a year, that’s their reality.

“We are stunned to see the extent of poverty among dying people – it is shocking.”

The charity is also calling for increased support with energy costs for all terminally ill people, regardless of age, and for increased support with childcare costs for terminally ill parents with young children.

The Department of Work and Pensions said those nearing the end of their lives can get quick access to a range of benefits without a personal assessment or waiting period.

A DWP spokesperson said the policies announced in the Queen’s speech mean more people will be able to access some benefits sooner at the end of their lives.

He added: “The government is taking decisive steps to ease pressure on the cost of living, including spending £22bn over the next financial year to support people with energy bills and cutting fuel taxes, and us £1bn Household Support Fund helps the most vulnerable with essential costs.”

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