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'It can be a very difficult time for many': Appeal to look out for older people this Christmas

Alone is also encouraging older people to reach out to others if they need support.

ALONE, the charity that helps older people to age at home, is asking members of the public to look out for older people this Christmas and New Year. 

With one in our older people living alone, the charity is asking members of the public to be aware of older people in their communities.

It has said a simple act may be all it takes to make someone’s Christmas if they are lonely or isolated this year.

Alone is also encouraging older people to reach out to others if they need support. 

Some things that people can do to make sure that they can help support older people include:

  • Ensure that older people are keeping their heat on and that they are following practical advice to stay warm.
  • Check in with older neighbours, friends and relative to ensure that they are keeping themselves warm, and that they have enough food and medicines.
  • It’s a busy time for some but for others you can make their day by stopping and chatting on the street or in the shop.

“This Christmas represents an opportunity for us all to share our warmth and help eradicate loneliness,” Alone CEO Seán Moynihan said.

“This will come as a welcome relief for many older people, who will get to spend Christmas with their families in person again. However, it can also be a very difficult time for many older people who will suffer from loneliness and isolation,” Moynihan said.

He said that “a simple check-in to say hello could make the biggest difference to an older person and turn a bad Christmas into a good one”.

“We have been urging people to ‘Share your Warmth’ for our winter campaign, this means different things to different people for some it means donating, volunteering or just offering a helping hand to an older person that you know. We are grateful for all support,” he said. 

“Like every charity, the winter is the busiest time of the year with demand for our services growing rapidly. We are calling on people to remain mindful of this and to help us support our older people during the winter.”

Volunteers from the charity will deliver over 1,000 Christmas dinners to older people around the country this Christmas Day. 

For anyone who has concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, Alone can be contacted over the holiday season from 8am to 8pm on 0818 222 024. 

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