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Elderly people fear lonely Christmas

15 December 2014 09:08

A quarter of elderly people are not looking forward to Christmas because of loneliness

A quarter of elderly people are not looking forward to Christmas because of loneliness

Not everyone is looking forward to Christmas, with a quarter of elderly people dreading the upcoming festive period.

Research by Age UK reveals loneliness and fears Christmas will bring back bad memories are the main factors putting pensioners off the festive period.

• 400,000 older people are fearing the prospect of Christmas spent alone

• 650,000 worry about the memories of loved ones they have lost being brought back

• The dark nights and bad weather lead around 1 in 5 people to worry about not being able to leave the house

The findings suggest the effects of loneliness increase dramatically during the winter months, as 23% of those aged over 65 say this Christmas will not be happy one.

One way of staving off loneliness this Christmas is travel - whether by booking a group holiday for older, solo travellers or visiting relatives overseas. However, before travelling people should arrange seniors travel insurance for added peace of mind.

The Age UK research comes not long after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, urged people nationwide to show they care by inviting elderly neighbours who live alone over for Christmas lunch.

Even a phone call can make all the difference. Age UK's call scheme, which sees anonymous callers ring up lonely elderly people for a chat on a daily or weekly basis, is doing its bit to combat the problem.

Nevertheless, loneliness in later life is still common among older people who live alone - and it will only get worse over Christmas.