Christmas is supposed to be a joyful season, when we enjoy the companionship of our closest friends and family. But for some older people who are lonely, it can be a desperate time of year: they might not receive a phone call, a card or a present.
Sadly, it’s not just Christmas when loneliness is keenly felt. More than a million older people haven’t spoken to anyone for over a month and over four million older people cite the television as their main form of daily company.
Earlier this year, one of our advisers answered a call from a lady named Mary. Mary and her husband, Jim, had built a wonderful bond over the years. Fiercely independent, they’d enjoyed their life together with their beloved dog, Bailey – so when Jim sadly passed away, Mary’s world collapsed. She had lost the person she’d loved and relied on, and it wasn’t long before she began to struggle with feelings of loneliness – not to mention the financial pressures of everyday life.
Thankfully, Mary picked up the phone and called us. Our expert advisers gave Mary the practical help and support she needed to take control again – and after just one call, she was feeling a lot more positive about everything.
Age UK is committed to combatting loneliness in later life: we believe that no one should have no one. Our vital work aims to provide everyone facing the challenges of later life with support, advice and companionship. Services such as the Age UK Advice Line, offers a free, confidential service 365 days a year. Our friendly and helpful advisers work to give the best possible information and recommendations over the phone. It’s the easiest and fastest way for an older person to reach out for our help.
With your regular gifts through Charities@Work, we can continue to be there at Christmas and year-round for older people who need us. Thank you.
(Names and personal details have been changed to protect privacy.)