7th December 2012
250,000 older people will spend Christmas Day alone
What signals the start of Christmas?
The tree going up? Advent calendar doors flinging opening? Maybe even the iconic Coca Cola ad (although it began on November 10th…)?
This time of year, focus is on fun with friends and family; a crescendo of tinsel, presents and parties. Or so we’re told.
Sadly for many, it’s the loneliest.
A quarter of a million older people will spend Christmas Day alone, and one in three older people are lonely.
Recent press is stuffed with heart wrenching headlines about the effects of loneliness: heart disease, blood clots and dementia among them. It can even be as bad as smoking.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – we can all help bring a ripe ol’ helping of Christmas cheer with the web.
ILC’s latest report “Nudge or compel” revealed that 63% of people not using the net were more likely to say that they “often‟ felt lonely compared with 37% who did. Plus, people who use it tend to feel more in control of their lives and better able to pick up new skills.
While the web can never provide a silver bullet solution to loneliness, it can go some way. With the Christmas countdown now on, could you help spread the love by Christmas Day?
Maybe a neighbour, colleague or even a friend could do with your help? You could even volunteer a few hours of your time and skills.
I came across your website and having lost both my parents this year, I feel I would like to perhaps help some local people in Crowborough.
I am computer literate and beleive I could maybe help some older people get online (if thats requried)...and help them occassionally.
A bit about me, I am 49, self employed, have a car, active and live at home with my three kids (16, 19 and 25).
Let me know what might be required. Thanks!