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Reducing Loneliness at Christmas

Christmas is a time full of magic… sparkling lights, Santa Claus, joy and merriment. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We get to bring out our cosy jumpers and catch up with family and friends who’ve come home to visit. However, for some older people living alone, this can be hard. They can experience loneliness and feelings of isolation. The weather deters them from going outside, and long days inside can be boring and depressing. That’s why it’s important to give extra thought to elderly people in your life during the winter months.

Everyone needs companionship

You might be lucky enough to rarely feel lonely. It’s likely you are surrounded by colleagues, family, friends. You have a social life and you have people to talk to, either in person, over text or online. Unfortunately, many older people lack this companionship.

Loneliness is a huge problem for the older community, both in urban and rural communities. Older people who live alone often struggle to get through the long winter days. If there are leaves on the ground, they are prone to slipping and damp can lead to colds and flu. This cold, wet weather makes them apprehensive to venture out and in turn, leaves them isolated from other people. That’s why we feel it’s so important to offer companionship as part of our homecare services.

Pop in for a chat and a cuppa

If you have elderly neighbours, or elderly relatives who live alone, try to pop in to see them during the winter months. They might not have left their house that day, so they could have gone a day or more without any conversation with someone else. Drop in, ask them how they’re doing, talk about what’s going on in the world, locally, anything.

Taking 30 minutes or an hour out of your day can mean the world to an older person. Our lives are busy and full of responsibilities, but to an older person, they can often feel forgotten. They’ve seen their children grow up, move out and have families of their own. They’re happy for them, but they miss the conversation and energy that comes from interacting with others.

See what they need

Often, they just want to have chat about what’s going on outside. Sometimes, they might want to dote on you. Don’t feel obligated to make them tea or cater to them – they may want to have someone to look after for a few minutes.

What about their shopping? Can you bring them with you when you go for your big shop? Do they do any activities and might need a lift there or back? It’s small things like this that will make all the difference for them. Do they need a hand putting their bins out, or cutting the grass? These might not seem like big tasks, but for an elderly person, they may be unable to do them. To show that you’re thinking about and looking out for them can help them feel that little bit more connected to other people.

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