Christmas doesn’t have to be lonely…
Christmas is touted as the most wonderful time of the year – but for many elderly people, it can be terribly lonely. As our aging population is living for longer, we find that more and more people are outliving their loved ones – leaving them alone during the holidays.Christmas is touted as the most wonderful time of the year – but for many elderly people, it can be terribly lonely. As our aging population is living for longer, we find that more and more people are outliving their loved ones – leaving them alone during the holidays.
If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, try to include them in your festive celebrations – call over and visit people, knock on neighbours’ doors and drop over a pack of mince pies. Check that elderly friends are looking after themselves, ask whether they need any help with the shopping in bad weather or whether they are warm enough, as heating costs climb.
Our Central Bedfordshire branch is based in Flitwick and we love to see the local community coming together with annual Christmas outreach. This year, the Ampthill Baptist Church is hosting a celebration on Christmas Day, which brings together many of the elderly and lonely members of the local community, spreading Christmas cheer and making sure that nobody has to be alone on Christmas Day.
Across the UK there are other similar community projects, all designed to bring people together and to beat loneliness – one of the biggest challenges our elderly population are facing – with festive meals, carol singing, dances and afternoon teas happening in halls and community centres.
Christmas is a time for bringing people together, for sharing good food, thoughtful presents and the gift of your time; why not look into similar events in your local area and consider volunteering some of your time, or offering financial support, gifting food or small gifts? If you can’t spend a day volunteering, consider making some handcrafted gifts for the vulnerable members of your community – warm hats, scarves and gloves are often appreciated by elderly people who spend so much of their time alone.
As we all think of our loved ones this Christmas, please remember those around us in the community who might not get visitors. Just half an hour of your time can make a world of difference to someone who is lonely. Give the gift of thought this Christmas.