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Friends Elderly

At a time when many people are searching for the top 10 gifts for gadget lovers, ideas to treat Mum and the best gifts under a fiver for the office secret Santa, there will be around 500,000* older people who are all alone. If we all work together and give the alternative gift of friendship this Christmas, we will help make the festive period less lonely for older people.

 

friends Elderly

National charity Friends of the Elderly supports Community Christmas, a charity which encourages communities to hold lunches and events on Christmas Day for older people. Last year, the movement meant that an estimated 5,000 older people didn’t spend Christmas alone. Whilst this is an amazing achievement, there are many more people who did spend the day on their own. That’s why Friends of the Elderly and Community Christmas are looking for more co-ordinators to organise an event or activity in their local community this year. Find out how to get involved here - www.communitychristmas.org.uk.

Friends elderly

Those who are unable to host an event can still Be a Friend and consider how they can share the spirit of Christmas with lonely older people who live near to them. Eighty three percent** of people surveyed by Friends of the Elderly understand that Christmas is an especially difficult time to be alone – which re-emphasises how important it is to reach out to older neighbours.

So this Christmas, consider Friends of the Elderly’s suggestions of how to Be a Friend and make the festive period a little less lonely for an older person:

Friends Elderly

The Mixed Group Christmas Party

Photo reproduced by permission from The Mixed Group

• When out and about, wish an older person you meet a ‘Happy Christmas’ and stop for a chat
• When writing Christmas cards for friends and family, write an extra one for an older neighbour then drop it round in person
• Invite an older neighbour over for a drink and a mince pie, or for a festive drink at your local pub
• If you know they’ll be on their own this year, ask an older neighbour to join you for Christmas dinner
• Christmas isn’t just about the turkey dinner – invite an older neighbour for a walk, to watch an afternoon movie or an evening of board games
• Whether you’re off to the pantomime, the Christmas market or a carol service, invite an older neighbour to join you and your family for a festive day out
• Ask an older neighbour to join you at a Boxing Day football match, or to come over watch the fixtures on TV
• Encourage your local community to do more this Christmas for the older people around you

It’s easy to Be a Friend all year around, for more ideas and to make your promise visit www.beafriendtoday.org.uk.

*Royal Voluntary Service predicted in 2014 there would be 490,000 older people who would spend Christmas alone.

** Results from a survey commissioned by Friends of the Elderly in 2014.

Meet The Author...
Oapschat
Who Am I?

Hi, my name is Janice and I am the founder of www.OAPSchat.co.uk.This stands for Optimistic and ProActive Seniors Chat. OAPSchat was born in April 2013 as a Facebook page. To date there are over 1460 FB likes. It was in November 2013 that I decided I had enough material and confidence to launch the website.

Since that day, I have been writing articles on all kinds of topics. ranging from hobbies, holidays, food and drink, memories, families, finance and much much more. I now have over one hundred and thirty seven wonderful contributors to date and articles on all different subjects are posted on a daily basis. Over 1400 articles can be read now! Members can comment via disqus, FB and Twitter.

Raffles are held monthly, sometimes more often. A newsletter goes out once a month with my plans for the coming weeks. I am an Independent Happy List Winner 2014 for founding the website.

Loneliness is a big scourge on our society worldwide and the website helps combat this awful isolation by coming together and sharing our thoughts and ideas. OAPSchat is well and truly born now and I hope it will continue to thrive. With your support, I'm confident it will!

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