Millions of over-60s forced to 'make do'

About four-and-a-half million elderly people in Britain are "making do" without even the most basic household goods just to pay their rent and fuel bills, Age UK has said.

The charity said people over 60 have shown "great resilience" in their efforts to stay in the black, and in some cases that meant going without televisions and using a kettle to heat their bathwater.

Among the 1,000 adults polled was a 78-year-old woman whose £120-a-week income after rent left her unable to replace a gas oven which she believes is leaking.

The report, compiled by Loughborough University, said: "One participant commented that if things became worse, food was the only thing left to be cut down on."

It claims that one in three elderly people are struggling to find the money for the most rudimentary supplies as a result of high energy bills and the low return on savings, despite their "very limited expectation of what is absolutely necessary".