'I'm terrified' - Oxfordshire pensioner can't afford heating or essentials as winter approaches

  • WATCH: ITV Meridian's Wesley Smith goes to meet Yvonne Bailey at her home in Witney

A widow from Oxfordshire has said she can't afford to eat or put her heating on because of the rising cost of living.

Yvonne Bailey from Witney has seen her weight plummet and said living in a cold house is causing her body to seize up.

The 77-year-old, who lives alone, admits she hasn't spoken to a single person for weeks because she hasn't got enough money to go out to see her friends.

  • WATCH: Simon Hewett-Avison from the Independent Age charity offers advice for struggling pensioners

Her energy costs have trebled and the pensioner says that there's nothing left at the end of the month once she has paid for her rent and food.

Yvonne added: "if I tighten my belt any more, I'll end up a skeleton, I've already lost 12 kilos.

"Why should elderly people have to suffer to be in this position where you either choose to heat your home and then starve to death or eat and freeze to death?

"This coming winter, that's what's going to happen and I am absolutely terrified."

Yvonne cuts back on every meal, and only has a milky coffee for breakfast.

Yvonne's dog Daisy is her main companion Credit: ITV Meridian

Her dog Daisy is her main companion, and Yvonne doesn't expect friends to pay for treats when she can't reciprocate.

Simon Hewett-Avison from the Independent Age charity says Yvonne's story is just one of many as countless older people are struggling to get by amid soaring costs.

"We're getting thousands of calls each month. Recently we heard from a lady who was turning the fridge off overnight to save money.

"If you are living on a low income, check whether you're eligible for pension credit. It can be a real lifeline for lots of people and it is a gateway benefit that could mean you get support with (things like) housing and council tax."

Yvonne hopes that by highlighting her case and working with Independent Age, she can help some of the 850,000 pensioners that the charity believes are not claiming the pension credit they are entitled to.