Christmas is a season that may carry sentiments and memories for people who have lost others, at a time of year when the days are cold and dark making it difficult for elderly people to get out of the house. According to Age UK, almost 1.5 million over 65s feel lonelier at Christmas and around one million will be eating dinner alone on Christmas Day.
If you have elderly family or neighbours, a few small kind gestures could make all the difference to their Christmas.
There are so many reasons to call in and see someone during the festive period: pop in for a cuppa and a mince pie, take round a Christmas card, knock on the door to do some carol singing, or take the children over in their nativity costumes.
We are all so busy at Christmas, but taking a small amount of time out to spend with someone less socially active could mean the world to them.
Age UK found that around four million older people said someone popping round to visit them could make their Christmas brighter.
If you know that your neighbour or loved one is going to be alone on Christmas Day, inviting them over for Christmas lunch would be a kind and appreciated gesture and could be the best Christmas gift. After all, there are always too many Brussels sprouts to go around!
If you can’t visit your elderly relative or neighbour, then call them instead. Age UK research highlights that more than five million older people say the best Christmas present they could get would be a phone call from a loved one.
Let elderly neighbours know that you are available to help them and give them your phone number to use if they need anything.
The joy of receiving a cheerful card is often underestimated, but particularly for older people with limited access to digital resources, receiving a Christmas card through the door could be a welcome gesture of thoughtfulness.
Give the gift of festive food – if you’re doing some Christmas baking, share some with your neighbours. Or why not give the promise of an outing in the new year to look forward to?
Have you noticed how your elderly neighbour does their shopping? They may find it difficult to drive or get out of the house, especially during the winter.
Volunteer to help with their shopping by picking things up for them or offer to take them to the shops with you next time you go to get food or Christmas presents.
Many people living alone don’t go to the trouble of decorating the house for Christmas but joyful decorations could lift their spirits.
Offer to put up some decorations for them. If you have children, ask if they can come and help. Children usually love putting up Christmas decorations and elderly people will get enjoyment from their company.
Your neighbour may have been invited to an event or occasion for Christmas but may not be able to go if they can’t drive or if they are worried about driving when it’s dark and wintry.
Ask them about their plans and offer to drive them to any events or to see friends over the festive period.
The Dower House is a nursing home in the Hampshire countryside near Winchester.
All our residents are a much-loved part of the Dower House family along with our nursing staff taking care of our community. We have beautiful communal areas both inside and outside for everyone to enjoy together. We run an inclusive activities and events schedule, including lots of Christmas events for our residents.
Whether you’d like to book a visit to find out more about The Dower House, or you simply need to talk and get some advice about caring for yourself or your loved one, we’re ready to listen and happy to help. Please contact us on 01962 882848.
Join us for a tour of the house to experience the welcoming, homely atmosphere. Book a visit now, we’d be delighted to welcome you.
Simply give us a call on 01962 882848 to book your visit.