Christmas can be a lonely time for older adults who are living on their own.
Take a minute to imagine you were feeling down, who would you turn to? Your partner, family, or friends? For many older people there is no one left to turn to.
Right now there are 2.5 million older people with no one to turn to.
This Christmas we are making a conscious effort to prevent the loneliness of older persons we know, and older people living within our communities. We have shared information below on the help that is out there for older people and how you as an individual can help!
What help is out there?
Age Advice Helpline
Age Advice Helpline is open 8am to 7pm. Every day. Even on Christmas. It’s free to call and completely confidential.
The purpose of this phone line is to provide older people with a support system and provide informed advise. Whether it’s information to help someone cope with a loss, the right number to call for help after leaving hospital, or to talk over a problem at home, they are always there to help.
Call in Time
Loneliness is just as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and it is associated with health conditions including depression, sleep problems and hypertension.
A friendly, weekly, 30-minute chat on the phone can make change this!
Call in Time is a free telephone friendship service run by Age UK for people aged 60 and over. The service matches older people with trained volunteers who share their interests for a weekly phone call, at a time that suits them.
Providing older people with a friend, when they may go days without speaking to anyone in person, can be a lifeline. Do you know an older person who may need this service?
How can you help?
Visit the older people in your life
You can spread a little cheer this holiday season by making an effort to visit older relatives and neighbours. Christmas is a time for sharing friendship. No one should be lonely at Christmas. If you spare 30 minutes of your time each week to call in on an older person you know, you could help raise their spirits and remind them that they are cared for and not alone.
Donate night gowns and pyjamas to Sunderland hospital
Sunderland hospital are currently accepting donations of new pyjamas and night gowns for older patients. This is to ensure that all of their older patients have a present to wake up to on Christmas morning. Without these kind donations many patients would not receive a present at all. These gifts are cheap to buy but will spread a lot of joy. Please donate if you can.
Invite an older person to your home
Do you know an older person who will be spending Christmas alone? Invite them to your home for Christmas Dinner. The more the merrier! You could ensure that an individual feels loved and included with something as simple as an extra chair around your table.
Please share this blog post to spread the word and help lonely people this festive period.