Financial health of over 50s

Age Scotland has launched a pilot project in the Borders to help people aged 50 and over to manage their finances better.

Aware that money worries have a negative effect on people’s health, Age Scotland plan to raise awareness among carers and health professionals of the danger signs of money worries and how to point people in the right direction for help and advice before it affects their mental and physical health.

Many people are struggling financially – the average debt per UK household is over £6,000 (not including mortgages). The over 50s are particularly prone to mental health issues as a result of money problems, recent research showing that those struggling to manage their finances in later life are eight times more likely to have reduced levels of mental wellbeing than their wealthy peers.

The pilot project, funded under the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s ‘Making Advice Work’ grants programme, will last for a year and Age Scotland’s money advice project worker, Geraldine Day, said: “We really don’t want people lying awake at night worrying when they could be getting the help they need from Age Scotland.

“We hope that by developing links with health professionals and care workers in the Borders area, we can encourage people to seek help sooner.

“We would encourage GPs to refer people for money advice at the same time as issuing a fit note since not all employees have good work-based sick pay schemes.”

If you are worried about debt, or want to know more about this project, contact Age Scotland on 0845 125 9732, Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm.