A pensioner says she fears for her life each winter as costs rise along with poverty rates among older generations.

Jill, who did not wish to give her last name, has said her own sons do not know she freezes in her home "just to keep costs down".

She said she is living in near poverty at her Brighton home due to the cost of living crisis - even fearing for her life each winter.

The Argus: Heating can often prove costlyHeating can often prove costly

Jill said: "I won’t eat out, I won’t take out, I haven’t been to the hairdressers since 2015. I often make compromises on myself in order to feed the dogs.

"Sometimes I wear five layers and keep my coat and hat on in the house. If there’s a knock on the door, I pretend I’ve just come in from outside.

"It’s wonderful when the sun comes out, but you wonder if you will survive the cold next year. Many of my friends and I worry about what the future holds for us."

Her private pension covers the rent of her house, and she lives off her government pension - which she says "isn't much".

The Argus: Signage for the Department for Work and Pensions

"I've cut back on everything. There is always uncertainty when you don't own your home. Even if your rent is up to date, you could be evicted."

Jill's story was shared at an event by national charity Independent Age, which helps elderly people struggling with finances.

Financial hardship has a major impact on every aspect of an older person’s life. It affects health, intensifies loneliness, and reduces quality of life.

The Argus: Baroness NeubergerBaroness Neuberger (Image: UK Parliament)

Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE, chairwoman of trustees at Independent Age, said: "We have been deeply disturbed by the steady increase in poverty rates among older people in the UK over the last several years.

"With the added burdens of falling home ownership and people being unable to save an adequate amount for retirement, we fear that the UK is sleepwalking toward a poverty precipice.

“When people fall into poverty after retirement they have few choices to raise their income. 

"Often the only option available to them is to cut back or minimise their spending, even on essentials like food and energy.

"Nobody dreams of experiencing financial hardship when they grow older, and no one should have to face these choices in modern-day Britain."