According to research by the Office of National Statistics, deaths in the UK in the last decade have risen dramatically. This is, apparently, due to a rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s related deaths, as well as flu becoming more and more virulent. This is especially true of the flu virus A(H3N2), which kills a number of older people in the UK every year. The flu vaccine is less effective every year, and with outbreaks in care homes it becomes worse all the time.
In 2015, there were 529,613 registered deaths in England and Wales, which is a 5.6% increase from 2014. Of those deaths, 86 percent occurred in people over 75.
Life expectancy is currently at 79.3 years for men and 82.9 years for women. This has fallen by 0.2 years for women and 0.3 years for men.
Most of these deaths happened in the first few months of the year, due to the weather and the fact this this is the time that the flu virus attacks most strongly. Hospital admissions are up at this time, putting a strain of the NHS’s infrastructure.
Deaths with Alzheimer’s as the underlying cause are at a 5 year high.
This is one of the reasons why it is so important to write a will, and keep it as up to date as possible. With the death rate for those over 85 rising steadily, and with Alzheimer’s cases growing in number, having a will is an essential part of anyone’s life.
Many wills contain charitable donations – it can be a wonderful way to give back (literally) something to a cause that has helped you or a family member, or one that you feel particularly strongly about. It can be anything from a few pounds to a large percentage of your estate. The choice is yours.
Recently, a man named Peter Gibbons, did just that. He decided to leave money in his will to Ipswich Hospital since they had treated him for heart disease, and made the last few months of his life more comfortable. Mr Gibbons was a former second hand car dealer, and he left a massive £1.5 million to the hospital.
Friends of Mr Gibbons were not surprised when they heard what he had done – he had always had good things to say about Ipswich Hospital. He had been in and out of their care many times in the six years prior to his death at age 90, and he had never had a bad experience. What Mr Gibbons’ friends were surprised about was the amount of money he had left the hospital; none of them had any idea he was worth so much. They had always considered him ‘thrifty’, and although there were rumours about how much money he had, they had never seen any evidence of it.
A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed that the £1.5 million was the biggest donation they had ever received, and that it would go on to help many thousands of people who needed the hospital’s help. Four wards are now due to be renovated – including the children’s ward – and the rest of the money will go towards various smaller projects.