Before the outbreak of coronavirus, older people were already facing a loneliness epidemic. But as a result of the pandemic, this crisis has intensified.
For many older people, this Christmas will be the loneliest of their lives. More than 850,000 could be spending the festive season alone.
This time of year is always hard for older people. Cold weather and shorter days make it difficult to stay connected to others.
Social distancing, continued restrictions and the withdrawal of the services and activities many rely on have only increased some older people’s feelings of loneliness and isolation.
For Roy, 80, Christmas has been difficult since the death of his wife, Maggie. This year, he’s particularly worried about how he’ll cope:
“It looks like I’ll be on my own again for Christmas this year. Life is so lonely when you are on your own.”
The Silver Line provides a 24/7 helpline, meaning there’s always a friendly voice at the end of the phone when an older person needs to talk. We’re determined to be there for older people who are depending on us this Christmas, but we need your help urgently.
Thanks to the kindness of people like you, Roy now receives regular friendship calls. It’s made a huge difference to his life.
“To know that someone is there for me to reach out to if I’m feeling down, or miserable, it means a lot.”