Many people across Hastings and Rother will be facing a lonely and miserable Christmas according to figures from Age Concern.
According to figures from the charity, almost a million older people across the UK feel lonelier at Christmas, with loneliness being described by some as ‘an epidemic’
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The charity is looking to repeat its successful campaign of last year, which used the message ‘no-one should have no-one’.
Nearly half of the older people surveyed for Age UK - aged-65 and over – feel their days can be repetitive, almost a quarter of whom (around 1.4 million older people) admitted that Christmas isn’t a special day for them and just passes them by.
Based on the survey, the charity estimates that getting on towards a million (873,000) people aged 65 and over don’t see or hear from someone for days on end over the festive period. And at Christmas time, on days when older people do not see or hear from anyone, over half (55%) rely on the TV for companionship.
Through its campaign, Age UK is calling on people across the country to pledge their support and donate to help the charity be there for older people and tackle the loneliness that is blighting too many lives.
Age UK does this every day of the year through its vital services like Age UK Advice, open every day, including Christmas Day; and Call in Time, the Charity’s telephone befriending service, which provides regular calls to isolated or lonely older people, in many cases this being the only conversation they will have all week.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, commented: “Chronic loneliness is not only horrible to experience day in, day out, it can also have a devastating impact on an older person’s mental and physical health. That’s why at Age UK we are committed to being here year round for older people, to help tackle the loneliness that is blighting far too many later lives.
“There is something we can all do to make a positive difference to the older people around us. Having a friendly chat with an older person on the bus or in a shop, or offering to help an elderly neighbour with their shopping if the weather is bad, can do more good than most of us would ever guess, and at very little cost to ourselves. In fact I guarantee you’ll feel better too as a result.”
Anyone who is experiencing feelings of loneliness or is worried about an older relative or friend can call Age UK Advice free of charge on 0800 169 6565, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/no-one or contact their local Age UK to see what services are available locally.
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