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Loneliness at Christmas

Loneliness at Christmas

New Age Care News

Brighten someone’s Christmas: Combating elderly loneliness

Christmas should be a time of joy but for many elderly people it is the time of year they feel most alone. According to Age UK ‘Almost 1.5 million older people feel lonelier at Christmas than any other time of the year’.

What would it be like to have no one to share Christmas with? No one to wish you happy Christmas. No exchanging of gifts. No one to enjoy your Christmas meal with. For a lot of older people this is their reality.

What can you do to brighten an older person’s Christmas?

If you know of an elderly person who is alone this Christmas then here are a few things you could do to help:

  • Help them with their Christmas decorations. Many people who are alone don’t bother putting a Christmas tree or decorations. It’s surprising what a few decorations can do to boost someone’s mood.
  • Take them shopping. Whether it’s food shopping or just a chance to get out of the house, many older people will appreciate this kind gesture. If the elderly person isn’t mobile then offer to do their shopping for them instead.
  • Give them a call and say hi. The simple act of a phone call can brighten up their day and make them feel connected.
  • Pop in for a cuppa and a chat. For someone who hasn’t seen anyone for days on end, this can be the best Christmas gift they will receive.
  • Drop off a card or a little gift to let them know you are thinking of them. It’s doesn’t need to cost a lot, it’s the thought that counts. Perhaps make something or if you have kids get them involved and make something together.
  • There are lots of events around the country for those that are alone at Christmas time. Help the older person to find an event they’d like to go to. You could also offer to drive them to the event.
  • Invite them over for a meal. Cooking for one extra person is not a real hardship but for someone who’s alternative is eating alone, it can mean the world.

Helpful Services

Age UK offer a befriending service that involves a weekly phone call to an elderly person for a chat. This is available not just for Christmas but all year round.

Re-engage is a charity that offers a free online directory of festive events across the UK that older people, who would normally be alone, can attend.

Helpful contact numbers

Age UK Helpline

0800 678 1602

The Silver Line

0800 4 70 80 90

Mind

0300 123 3393

Samaritans

Call 116 123

Remember, loneliness doesn’t just affect the elderly. Keep an eye out for others who may be spending Christmas alone and check in with them to see how they’re feeling. Some prefer it this way but others will be feeling lonely and would love you to reach out!

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