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We just want somewhere clean so we can die in Peace- Rajia, a pensioner in Birmingham, shared sadness about her living condition

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Rajia, a pensioner living in Birmingham, shared her deep sadness about her living conditions in her “rat-infested” home. She expressed her desperate wish to have a clean and peaceful place to spend her remaining days. Rajia, who is 70 years old, explained that she and her seriously-ill husband, who is 87 years old, have been living in their rented house for 20 years. However, their home has deteriorated over time, and their landlord refuses to fix any of the problems. As a result, Rajia is forced to cook in her front room because the kitchen floor has big holes in it. At night, they are constantly disturbed by rats, which prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep.

Despite their plea for a better living situation, Rajia and her husband feel trapped because they have nowhere else to go. They yearn for a comfortable and safe home to live in during their final years. Rajia revealed that their landlord has neglected their requests for repairs, leaving them in appalling conditions.

Their distressing situation was brought to light through a charity campaign by Independent Age, an organization that supports older people facing financial hardship. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the health toll caused by poverty among elderly individuals. According to Independent Age, there are over two million older people in the UK who live below the poverty line.

To protect their safety, the charity did not disclose Rajia and her husband’s full names, exact location, or the identity of their landlord. Rajia’s story is featured in Independent Age’s report called ‘The Hidden Two Million,’ which exposes the harsh reality of financial struggles faced by older individuals.

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Rajia emphasized the deteriorating conditions of their rented house, mentioning the leaking roof, walls covered in mold, and the constant presence of rats. She explained that their current living situation is not safe or suitable for them, but they feel trapped because they have no other housing options available.

Rajia also shared the challenges they face with heating their home. Her husband, who spends a significant amount of time in the hospital, needs to stay warm when he is at home. However, despite turning on the heating, their house remains cold, and they are forced to turn it off when he is not present to save money. Rajia mentioned that despite receiving Pension Credit and disability benefits, they struggle to cope with increasing heating bills and rising food prices. They are desperate to find a new home where they can live in cleanliness and peace.

Independent Age, the charity supporting older individuals in financial hardship, highlighted the growing number of older people facing similar circumstances as Rajia. They revealed that in the UK, 2.1 million pensioners, which represents 18 percent, live in poverty, indicating an increase of 500,000 compared to ten years ago.

Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE, Chair of Trustees at Independent Age, expressed deep concern about the rising rates of poverty among older people in the UK. She highlighted the challenges faced by retirees due to declining homeownership and inadequate retirement savings. Baroness Neuberger stressed that when individuals fall into poverty after retirement, they have limited options to increase their income, often resulting in difficult choices such as cutting back on essentials like food and energy. She concluded by saying that no one dreams of experiencing financial hardship in their old age, and it shouldn’t be the reality for so many individuals in modern-day Britain.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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