Help make this Christmas a little brighter for a lonely older person
Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and good cheer but sadly an estimated 87,000 older people in Wales are not looking forward to Christmas because they expect to feel lonely according to research by Age Cymru. (ref 1)
“Of course, we’re all approaching this Christmas with a sense of uncertainty about how the Omicron variant will affect our plans and activities which will lead to many of us becoming extra cautious.
However, we have to ensure that our more cautious approach does not cause older people to become even more isolated and lonely. We can still phone our older relatives, friends, and neighbours for a chat, and post Christmas cards through the letter box.”
More than a quarter (29%) who took part in the research said they had lost a loved one during the last 18 months which, for many of them, would lead to feelings of loneliness over Christmas.
Half of the respondents agreed that the best present they could get this year would be a call from a loved one, with more than a third agreeing that somebody calling for a chat or popping round for a visit would make their Christmas brighter.
Victoria Lloyd says: “It’s heart-breaking to hear that so many older people in Wales expect to feel lonely this Christmas especially those who have lost a loved one during the pandemic. However, there is plenty that we can all do together to make Christmas a little brighter.
The Charity is also looking for donations for its annual Christmas campaign to support vital services for older people. If you can help us reach out and support more older people this Christmas, please call us on 029 2043 1555 or visit www.agecymru.org.uk/brighter
Case studies from our Friendship service
Age Cymru operates a Friendship service that pairs a lonely older person with a volunteer for a weekly telephone chat. The following provides a snapshot of what older people using the services think about Christmas.
Catherine Edwards, Conwy
Speaking prior to the arrival of the Omicron variant, Catherine said: “I’ll be going next door on Christmas day and seeing a friend on Boxing Day. “Every year my neighbour brings a fruit cake covered with nuts and fruit, and it’s heavy!” However, Catherine was disappointed that her local chapel can’t do the usual carol service and Christmas fayre this year.
Margaret Davies, Cardiff
“I’m not looking forward to Christmas, I want it to come and go quickly. I have been invited to lunch by my daughter, but I am worried about going because of the latest variant of Covid 19. I cannot wait for January to come, where some normality will hopefully return. Sorry if I sound like a humbug, but that is how I feel.”
Gruffydd Phillips, Carmarthen
“I couldn’t care less about Christmas. I’ve had so many of them, it’s just another day to me. I’ll be lucky to see my daughter and grandchildren so I’m planning on having a fish and chip day.
Barbara Williams, Swansea
I will spend Christmas day with my partner James and our little dog, as I don’t have many family left and one of Jim’s sons passed away this year so we won’t be seeing much of the family.