Don’t Be Lonely This Christmas
Christmas is traditionally when families come together but for thousands of older people it can be the loneliest time of the year, plus local news
While for many of us the festive season is a time of excitement – seeing loved ones and giving and receiving gifts – for around 500,000 people over 60 Christmas can be the loneliest time, those who have lost their partners or whose children have moved too far away to visit. It’s a sad fact, however, that isolation and loneliness is the reality of many older people all year round too, not just at Christmas.
If you are going to be alone at Christmas, plan your ideal day: perhaps you’d have breakfast in bed then go for a walk or watch a classic movie – it’s your day, do exactly what you like as you’ve got no one to please but yourself!
You might think you’re the only person in your neighbourhood who feels lonely at Christmas but you’ll be surprised – there are thousands of others just like you who’d like company. So why not invite a neighbour over for mince pies and a movie, organise a pre-Christmas get-together or ask around to see if anyone would like to go on a Christmas Day walk with you.
There’s so much we can all do at this time of year to help an older person. It doesn’t have to take lots of time and, while donations are always greatly appreciated by charities working at the frontline, it could be something as simple as checking on an elderly friend or relative.
You could always join the thousands of people up and down the nation who help out in soup kitchens or similar locations during the Christmas period. It’s a wonderful way to avoid feeling lonely, keep busy and meet other people. Visit timebank.org.uk (call 0203 111 0700 or write to TimeBank, One KX, 120 Cromer Street, London WC1H 8BS) where you can find charity events and groups near you.