Almost 1.5 million people feel more lonely at Christmas than any other time, do what you can to make this one full of love and joy
Christmas is a time of great joy and celebration but for many, especially the elderly, it can be an unwelcome time bringing sadness and loneliness.
It’s important to stay connected with any older friends or relatives, invite them to family get togethers and events, how about an uplifting carol concert or a trip to the panto? A simple outing to a garden centre for example with a seasonal display may make all the difference. Some may be content to enjoy just staying in the warmth and comfort of their own home so always make sure your attentions are welcome, they may not want to join in the excesses of the season.
If there isn’t time to pop round in person, pick up the phone, a tech savvy elderly person may benefit from a video call, just seeing a friendly face can make all the difference. Perhaps set up a rota among yourselves to vary the calls and keep in touch.
Help with the shopping, many grandparents will love the opportunity to spoil their young relations at this time of year, they may need help to seek out suitable gifts. Offer to go shopping with them, many will enjoy having some company on their visit to the supermarket, involve them in your shopping visit, if they’re coming to you for the festive season ask them what they would like to eat too.
Consider their mobility too, icy surfaces and wet conditions can make getting out and about tricky and make elderly people more susceptible to falls. Check their home and access to it is safe to walk on, make sure they have any extra walking aids if necessary and if you’re not able to get them out and about, try a ‘dial-a-ride’ service or other community transport scheme.
You may need some extra support at this hectic time of year. There are plenty of companies and agencies who can provide a helping hand. Perhaps you just need someone to pay your relative a visit, as little or as often can be arranged? A live-in carer will help in the home, offering round-the-clock care for them and peace of mind for you. Respite care offers short-term support. Christmas has many demands on time and if you’re going away this may be an option.
Help make this Christmas a little more joyful for an older person.