Loneliness at Christmas is a massive problem in the UK.
Back in December 2018 Age UK found that 278,00 older people in the South East haven’t met up with a friend in a month.
Furthering on from that they found that 69,000 65’+s have not had a conversation with family or friends in a month.
The charity carried on to say that the research they commissioned discovered that;
- Half a million older people across the UK are expecting to feel loneliness at Christmas
- 79% have not sought any help for this
- 52% loneliness has become a ‘normal’ part of life
The research goes on to say that for half a million older people, Christmas is not something to look forward to. In fact it is a time where they remember people who have passed away, and happier times.
What can you do if you are on your own?
- If you live on your own see if you can find any details of community Christmas events taking place in your area.
- If you have Twitter, you can take part in Sarah Millican’s annual #JoinIn campaign
- You could consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen or for a befriending service. Volunteering can be a great way to meet like-minded people. And is incredibly rewarding.
- Do you know other people who are spending Christmas alone? Why not suggest you go out for a meal as a group. Or a get-together where each person brings part of Christmas lunch.
- If you can afford to, why not book a holiday and go away somewhere for a few days? This will give you something to look forward to and new festive memories to look back on.
What can you do to support someone who is lonely?
- If you are having a Christmas party, think about inviting your neighbours. Or people who you know who would usually be alone.
- You could invite someone out for a walk or a trip to a local Christmas event.
- Some people find it hard to spend Christmas Day surrounded by other families. Consider inviting someone over for part of the day, like lunch or an evening drink.
- You could drop a gift round to someones house on Christmas Eve. Or even pop in for a cuppa.
- If you know a an older person who is lonely why not help them find a community event. You could even offer to go with them.
Find out more here about the campaign to end loneliness