Loneliness has been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason. It has been highlighted that many older people are lonely at Christmas and also throughout the rest of the year.
In fact, according to some news reports there will be an estimated one million people in the UK will spend Christmas Day alone this year, and will have very little contact with anybody during the festive period.
Being lonely at Christmas, and throughout the year, can have so many negative effects on people, both on their mental health and their physical well-being. Reports over the years have found that loneliness can increase the risk of a stroke or a heart attack, and that the effects of social isolation is similar to that of anxiety or work-related stress.
So what can you do to try and ensure that you’re not lonely at Christmas this year? Or at least to keep yourself busy so that you don’t feel lonely? Here’re some top tips to plan your Christmas:
Choose an Activity
There are plenty of activities that you can do to either defeat the effects of being lonely at Christmas. Having a planned-out Christmas day can really help keep you and your mind busy.
Perhaps you could go for a Christmas walk around your local area, or maybe settle down and watch some of your favourite movies. If you’re a fan of video games, you could treat yourself to a new game as a present and spend a few hours on there.
Alternatively you could spend the day on your tablet or laptop and get to the sales before everybody else finds them. It’s common for the January Sales to actually start in December nowadays so you could find yourself a bargain or two.
Visit Family and Friends
It’s never too late to make Christmas plans with friends or family. If you want to spend the day with loved ones but hadn’t planned anything it may be that wires have been crossed and they think that you have made plans.
Maybe they could come round to see you before or after their Christmas Day feast, or better yet you could invite them round to your house for their meal. If you have a friend or two that are in the same position as you, it’s a nice idea to arrange a meet up.
You could go to the park or for a walk around town. Don’t forget that there is normally a big football game on Boxing Day, so you could spend your day talking about the football and then head down to the match the following day.
A Last Minute Trip
If you’re unable to see family and friends this year, you should consider booking a last minute trip away. Take this opportunity to travel across the country, or even around the world, to see new landmarks and experience different cultures during the festive period.
Although we don’t get much snow here, countries in Europe are more fortunate. What could be better than waking up to a white Christmas and experiencing a different type of day? Of course, being in a hotel or on a coach trip will help to ensure that you meet new people, – leading to new friendships and contacts.
In many areas across the country, establishments within the community put on special events during Christmas to help the lonely. It is common for community centres and pubs to open up their doors to older people, to ensure that they have a nice meal and spend the day talking to people.
Some great examples this year include:
- Lidl are donating the equivalent of 3,000 Christmas dinners to charities and community groups – who can then host Christmas meals.
- A Care Home in Solihull will open its doors to elderly people on Christmas Day, inviting them in for a nice meal and activities.
- The Swan Inn, in Kings Head Street, Harwich, is serving a Christmas dinner for those who don’t have anybody else to share the big day with.
To see what is happening in your area, we would advise checking through your local newspaper or by using an internet news search on Google.
Don’t Forget About Older People
For those of us who will wake up on Christmas Day with our family, its important to take a step and think; what about my neighbour or uncle? If you know somebody in your life will be waking up and spending the day alone, why not pull up an extra chair and invite them for dinner? This small gesture will make such a big difference to their day and could make a big difference in their lives – physically and mentally.
Ahead of the big day, it would be nice to send your elderly neighbours a Christmas card and perhaps some chocolates. Inside the card you could leave a note which says you’re happy to help them during the festive period, should they need any.
A Lifeline for Christmas
If you live alone, or have a relative that does, then our personal alarm service can really help make a different. By wearing a pendant around your wrist or neck you’re ensuring that you’ll be able to call for help if you fall or feel unwell and cannot reach the telephone.
With an alarm you’ll be connected to our 24-Hour Care Team. Our TSA Accredited team are available 365 days a year (yes, including Christmas) and will respond instantly once you press your pendant button. They’ll call for help on your behalf, by contacting friends, family and neighbours. The emergency services will also be contacted if required.
For more information about our life-saving personal alarm service, please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Remember to use the discount code BLOG2018 when you order one of our personal alarm systems on a Monthly or Annual Plan to receive £10 off.