Almost a million older people say they feel lonelier at Christmas (based on research by Age UK), and half a million older people can go up to a week without seeing or speaking to anyone.
This Christmas we want to change that, but we need you. We’ve come up with 12 simple things you can do to tackle loneliness, and make everyone feel more connected at Christmas.
We’ll share each of our tips on social media throughout December, and we’d like you to share your own. Use the hashtag #12Ways, and share with us how you’re ending loneliness with festive fun.
Take time to talk
Take the time to talk to an older person this Christmas.You could be doing your shop at the supermarket, at the pub or out for a walk. But just say a simple hello and it could make a difference to someone who’s lonely.
Give someone a call
Take the time to speak to your friends and family that you won’t be with this Christmas. A ten-minute phone call can have a big impact.
Get in touch with Community Christmas. They can help you to host a Christmas get-together in your community.
Give a neighbour a card
Ring the doorbell and hand a Christmas card to your neighbour. Start a conversation and make a connection.
Abbeyfield Care Homes
Are you worried about being alone this Christmas? Join in the festivities at Abbeyfield care homes. They are opening their doors this Christmas to any older people who want company.
Lend a hand at your local care home
Get in touch with your local care home and ask if they need some support this Christmas. Lend a helping hand with the cooking or even entertaining the residents.
Share a mince pie moment
Bake or buy some Mince Pies and share them with your friends and neighbours at a Great Christmas Get Together. #MincePieMoments
If you’re feeling lonely and want advice
If you’re lonely and want advice and support, download or order Independent Age’s guide to loneliness. It offers simple tips to help you feel more connected.
A spare chair
Do you have a spare chair at your dinner table? Know a neighbour who might be alone? Invite them to join you for Christmas dinner.
For anyone who’s worried about being alone on Christmas Day, comedian Sarah Millican is hosting #JoinIn. It’s a hashtag for people who want company to chat and connect with each other online.
Invite the neighbours
Hosting a Christmas party? Don’t forget to invite the neighbours. If there’s anyone in your community who might be alone, send them an invite. The more the merrier!
Donate to The Campaign to End Loneliness. As little as £5 can help us build a country where lonely older people get the friendship and support they need. Together, we can end loneliness.
It’s important to remember that while older people can feel lonelier at Christmas, loneliness happens all year round.
But Christmas is a great time for us to connect with each other. This December, make that moment of connection happen with a lonely older person.
Thanks for taking part, and remember to send us any photos, videos of you getting involved, and send us some of your own tips using the hashtag #12Ways.