Christmas events for older people can have a hugely positive effect, helping to alleviate loneliness and get them involved with family, friends or the wider community.
Here, we'll introduce you to just how big a problem loneliness is for older people today. Then, we'll tell you about some of the most inspirational initiatives booked in for this year.
Social events can help stave off loneliness
Just under one million older people in the UK will feel lonelier over Christmas, according to the latest research from Age UK.
The study also noted that:
- One-fifth of this total have been widowed
- 1.4 million older people don't see Christmas as 'special' and the day just passes them by
- 873,000 over 65s don't socialise with anyone for days during the festive period
- 55% of these people rely on the TV for companionship
Christmas events for older people are crucial for bringing these heart-breaking figures down and ensuring elderly relatives, friends and neighbours get the attention they deserve this festive season.
Christmas events for older people in 2017
If you or your loved one could benefit from attending an event this Christmas, these are some of the inspirational options you could try:
Community Christmas is a website that enables hosts to promote their Christmas events and older people to conveniently find events in their area.
The charity also provides support and guidance for people who want to set up local events. This year's itinerary includes:
- Christmas lunches
- Meet-ups at local restaurants or pubs
- Visitations with tea and cake
- Classic film screenings
Just input your postcode to find events in your area.
Age UK is also at the forefront of efforts to reduce loneliness over the festive season. This year, the charity is running two main initiatives.
Firstly, it's calling on the public to donate their time and money in support of Age UK's Befriending Service. This initiative runs all year, but is relied on more heavily over Christmas. You or your loved one can sign up here.
Many regional branches will also be sending out Christmas hampers to older people in the local community.
A number of regional Rotary Club branches will be inviting older people to a special Christmas lunch and tea party this year.
Festive Friends Bristol
Last Friday, Festive Friends Bristol provided 100 isolated older people with a free three-course Christmas dinner.
The event was paid for by donations, staffed by volunteers (including local firefighters) and attended by the Lord Mayor, who came to speak with guests.
While this year's event has passed, you or your loved one can add your details to a waiting list now for Christmas 2018.
We're heartened to see so many great Christmas events for older people taking place across the country. Join in to help prevent loneliness for yourself or a loved one.