This December, we have been discussing the effects loneliness can have on our older communities and how it impacts health and socialisation. Although loneliness isn’t just for Christmas and can affect anyone at any time in the year, the festive season highlights the issue the most.
So how can we all be there for our family member, friends or neighbours who may be feeling the effects of loneliness this Christmas?
The smallest of acts of kindness can make a difference; smiling at someone as you pass them in the street, having a short conversation whilst waiting in a queue or posting a Christmas card to a neighbour can make a huge difference.
Letting people in your life know you are there for them is important. For some people, they don’t want to be a burden on others and will allow pride get in the way before they discuss how they are feeling, so letting them know you are there if they need to open up to someone, can help with the first steps to feeling less lonely.
Invite someone to join you for festive-themed activities. Visiting a local market, attending a carol concert, writing out cards together or simply enjoying a mince pie together can help someone feel more festive whilst being around loved ones.
On the big day, if you have space at your table, why not invite someone to join you for Christmas dinner. Research has found around 4.2 million Christmas dinners were scraped into the bin. For many lonely older people, Christmas can become just another day, especially if they are widowed or have no family close by. Help them feel part of the family.
There are also many charities and community associations who are there to support lonely people during Christmas. One of these is Reengage (formally known as Contact the Elderly) who host Community Christmas, a campaign to bring back the magic of Christmas to older people who may be feeling lonely. Christmas events, including dinners and social gathering, are hosted across the UK to match people aged 75 and over to a community event within their area. Click here to find out more.
At Heritage Healthcare Epsom, we provide care and support in the homes of our clients so they can continue being comfortable and independent. Not only do we deliver services such as personal care, domestic help, dementia support, live-in care and end-of-life care, but our professional team also provide companionship to our clients to help stop them feeling lonely. They are there to have a catch-up, take clients out into the community to visit friends or visit the local shops, and help in any way they can.
If you would like to find out more about how Heritage Healthcare Epsom can help you and your loved ones, please get in touch with our team through your preferred contact method here.