PEOPLE are being urged to visit elderly family members, friends and neighbours over the next week with more than 100 older people in Evesham alone expected to spend Christmas Day alone.

Chairman of the Evesham and District Older Peoples Forum Fred Kaler said problems of loneliness and isolation among the elderly were prevalent in the area and has called on people to ensure those close to them are not alone this festive period.

The concerns raised by Mr Kaler come shortly after Senior Response, the call centre for the elderly, released results showing that only 49 per cent of people across the UK will visit their elderly relatives this Christmas.

The research surveyed adults aged 40 to 60-years-old and showed that less than half would be visiting their relatives, but 90 per cent of people would contact them in some way.

Mr Kaler said: “One of our big concerns is the cold weather but the main problem is loneliness. People become more aware of the problem at Christmas but this problem is all the year round. It is perhaps more noticeable during the festive season.

“What we do in Evesham is that people who we know we can get to over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; we knock on their door or at least call them.

“There are people we know are really vulnerable at this time of year and those are the ones we call or visit.”

Brian Hunt, from the Worcestershire Older People’s Forum has also encouraged family members and neighbours to keep an eye on those who may be alone this festive season.

“We would ask people to look and see if their neighbours have drawn their curtains in the morning. If they haven’t, go and knock on the door and see if they are ok.”