Older people feel lonelier at Christmas – What you can do to help!

loneliness at Christmas

Almost half of UK adults say that their busy lives stop them from connecting with other people. We can all play a part to tackle loneliness.

As the colder and darker nights continue to draw in and Christmas approaches, this time of year can be especially lonely for the half a million older people who spend Christmas alone instead of being surrounded by family and loved ones.

Around Christmas time, family members may be busier, struggling to find the time to visit their loved ones and help them with daily tasks. We often see an increase in enquiries from older people seeking companionship during this time of year, which is why it’s so important to reach out to older relatives or people in your community throughout the festive period.

Looking out for an older person in your life doesn’t need to be a huge task – sometimes it’s the smaller things which can make a person’s day. So why not spread some festive cheer this Christmas and see if you can reach out to an older person in your community in one of the below ways?

Offer a listening ear

Sometimes the best thing that you can do is listen. Many older people who live alone can go entire days at a time without speaking to anyone, and this can lead to loneliness and isolation. Why not reach out to an older relative or neighbour this month just to see if they’d like a chat? Whether it’s an hour for a cup of tea or a quick catch up over the phone, offering an older person your time and company over the Christmas period may just make their day.

Help them with a household task

Everyday tasks which may seem simple and easy to you can be difficult to tackle as you get older, so why not spend a couple of hours helping an older person you know out with tasks around the house? Whether it’s taking the rubbish out, hoovering the house or even helping to put up the Christmas tree, a little help at home can go a long way and you’ll be surprised at how appreciated the help and companionship can be.

Run an errand

Some people lose their mobility as they get older and this can lead to them feeling stuck in their own homes. If you know an elderly person who lives alone and doesn’t have the means to get out and about, why not offer some help and some company in the process? It could be something as simple as a quick trip out in your car to pick up groceries, or a few hours Christmas shopping and seeing the festive sights around town.

Bond over dinner

It doesn’t have to be a Christmas roast – inviting an older person to have a chat over lunch or even just a cup of tea can offer them with the companionship over Christmas period which so many go without. Why not invite friends or family members along too and make your own social gathering?

Invite them to join the family

Thousands of older people will spend Christmas alone this year, so why not invite an elderly person in your community into your home to share Christmas dinner with you? From a family games night to a Christmas movie viewing, reaching out to an older person and making them feel like one of the family can go a long way, especially during this time of year.

For some older people, a live in carer or hourly visits from a carer in their community may offer the best form of companionship available to them over Christmas. With family members busier, older people may need extra assistance over the Christmas period, which carers can provide them with, without them having to leave the comfort of their own homes.

Read more: Can Live-in care help reduce the UK Loneliness Epidemic?

Here at Ashridge Home Care we offer award winning companionship and dedicated home care not only throughout the christmas period, but all year round. For more information on how we can assist you or your loved one, call us on 01494 917344, or email: info@ashridgehomecare.co.uk.