1 million older people live alone and around 500,000 spend Christmas Day alone.
Many older people will experience a cold Christmas this year; not only struggling to cope with escalating heating costs, fuel allowance cuts and the tough winter predicted but also by the absence of human company.
Our new survey, which asked about attitudes towards older people, found nearly one in four admitted they won’t be including any elderly relatives, neighbours or community members in their seasonal celebrations and activities. When asked what prevents them from visiting the elderly 44 per cent said that they don’t have enough time.
But at Friends of the Elderly we’re determined to be a true friend to older people who need us.
Our volunteers will be phoning those spending Christmas alone. We will be sending out cards and gifts. Our day centres will be holding Christmas lunches and parties. Our Supporting Friends service will be giving grants to community groups organising Christmas dinner for isolated older people.
Everyone can make a difference - simply checking in on an older neighbour regularly, popping a card through their door or having a chat with an older person at the shops only takes a moment and can make a real difference. You could check with local groups/churches to see if you can help out over Christmas or on Christmas Day (there may be lunches laid on that need volunteers, transport needed, etc.), OR donate to Friends of the Elderly. If we all do a little bit then a lot will get done.
Help us to reach more lonely older people in need by making a donation today
- £5 would pay for a Christmas card and gift for a lonely older person
- £25 would pay for an older person to attend a Christmas lunch with entertainment at a day centre
- £50 trains a volunteer to befriend up to 8 lonely older people
- £100 runs our Phoning Friends Service for one day