A 52-year-old disabled widow lives in darkness, washing herself with a damp rag, desperately trying to cut her bills in a cost-of-living crisis.
- Jason Alcock can only heat one room and lives in the dark
- The 52-year-old from Shelton has Autism, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and PTSD.
- He has difficulty leaving his home and needs technology to communicate.
- The financial crisis forced him to sell his late wife’s belongings
A disabled man in Stoke-on-Trent says he has stopped taking showers because the cost of living continues to rise. Yes, this winter you’re living in the dark trying to keep up with your ever-increasing bills.
The 52-year-old from Shelton has autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and PTSD, and finds it difficult to leave home and socialize with others. Instead, he relies on technology to communicate.
This means he can’t find a job and is struggling to survive on Personal Independence Assistance (PIP), Employment Assistance Allowance (ESA), and Severe Disability Insurance premiums.
With commodity prices rising to levels unparalleled in 40 years, he faces a tough decision.
Cash-strapped Jason Alcock can only afford to heat one room, and is living in the dark this winter trying to contend with his ever-growing bills.
The 52-year-old from Shelton has autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and PTSD, and finds it difficult to leave home and socialize with others.Instead, he relies on technology to communicate
His wife Paola died in 2018 after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and earlier this year, Jason was forced to raise money by selling important items she left behind.
He is one of the growing victims of the cost of living crisis affecting people across the country, with prices outstripping increases in wages and benefits.
“I wear more clothes than I normally do at home,” Jason says.
“Also, it’s getting warmer, so I spend most of my time upstairs. I heat one upstairs room and I’m there most of the time with the door closed.
“We keep radiators low in other rooms to keep them damp, as temperatures below 14°C can cause problems.
“I’m not taking a shower right now. I wipe myself with a damp rag when I need to. I’m wearing clothes five days at a time because I can’t pay my electricity bill.”
His wife Paola died in 2018 after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and earlier this year Jason was forced to raise money by selling valuable items she left behind.
“I put a thick blanket on top of the duvet on the bed on the second floor and went to bed at 8pm.
“My house temperature is about 19 degrees Celsius, but it’s on the verge of being too cold.
“The cost of living on food is skyrocketing. With my disability benefits, I can feed myself and my dog.
“My grocery store used to be about £60 for two weeks, now it’s £120 for two weeks. Pound.
“A few years ago I was spending £30 a month on electricity and £30 on gas, now I spend £75 a month on each.
“I have never seen anything like this. I shut things down.
Jason took care of his wife Paola at home before she passed away and was glad she wasn’t here to witness the current cost of living crisis as this year was his life. He said: “I was at the computer and had to stop because my hands were cold and I couldn’t use the keyboard.”
“I have never been in a situation like this before. My wife is disabled and I took care of her until she passed away in 2018.
“Seeing all of this happening, I’m glad she’s still not around as it was cold even in the summer and I had to keep the house at 24 degrees Celsius all the time due to her condition. It’s the first time in my life that I’m glad she wasn’t here to see this, and that’s sad.
“I’ve always wanted kids, but now I’m glad I didn’t.”
Jason bought a small frozen chicken and spent Christmas Day alone at home with his dog. But he worries that some people won’t make it through this winter.
He added: “I think people will die this winter. It’s the mothers and fathers who decide not to, I think we’re going to lose a lot of people to Stoke-on-Trent.