This year, more than ever loneliness is going to be felt by the our elderly loved ones. Covid restrictions mean many will be facing time alone, or at least may be in a smaller group than they’d like.
Guest blogger Ella Hendrix has some advice for us all on preventing loneliness this Christmas.
Most years, Christmas is a magical time of year where you get to relax, spend time with family, and enjoy the festive celebrations. People travel all across the country and world, to be with their loved ones on Christmas. But for some people, loneliness and isolation at Christmas are a massive issue.
According to Age UK up to 1 million elderly people feel lonely during the festive period. Unfortunately, loneliness is now such a major problem among the elderly, that national campaigns launched to help ensure that vulnerable people have someone to share the holidays with.
It’s easy to forget that the family-orientated holiday season can be the loneliest time for people with no relatives. One of the biggest issues for seniors is that their social circles gradually shrink, with family members and friends moving away or passing away, as the years go by. Even those who still live nearby may be inaccessible due to limited mobility, especially once someone can no longer drive safely.
Age UK estimates that around 873,000 elderly people don’t see or hear from anyone for days at a time over the festive period. Shockingly, two fifths of all seniors admit that the television is their main company. This lack of communication results in elderly people feeling isolated, lonely, and uninvolved. During Christmas there is an enormous focus on family gatherings, social events, and having the perfect Christmas, and so these feelings are intensified.
This year is like no other year. So how can we practically help the elderly?
Christmas is normally a joyous time for family to get together and enjoy the celebrations. This year, however, it will be different. Covid restrictions will see smaller gatherings and the advice ‘don’t hug granny’.
Why not make someone’s Christmas, by reaching out, however you can, to support someone who is feeling lonely this winter.
Our thanks to Ella Hendrix for her original article. Ella is a versatile freelance writer, currently covering articles on family psychology, elderly care children’s behaviour. In her spare time, you will find her head in a book or sipping on a peppermint tea.
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