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Elderly need help not just for Christmas
THE Christmas and New Year season is not the only time elderly people feel lonely and isolated.
That is the message from Brian Hunt, vice-chairman of the Pensioners Association in Worcester, as people worry about the elderly being on their own during the festive season.
Mr Hunt has urged people not only to visit elderly family members, friends and neighbours over the holiday season – but also to keep watch on them during the rest of the year.
“Our concern is that there are people who are lonely all the time,” he said. “The emphasis should not simply be over Christmas.
“It is the time of year people start thinking about loneliness but I would like them to think about it all the time. I am glad, though, that the festive season does shed light on the problem.”
Mr Hunt and colleagues take some seasonal cheer to people who may be on their own by carol singing at the sheltered accommodation in Lowesmoor.
He also urges people to keep watch over their neighbours.
“Loneliness is one of the worst things that can happen to people,” he said. “With elderly people it’s far too easy for them to close their doors and that’s it.
“Over the years of working with elderly people we do find those who have nobody.
“We would ask people to 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.”
The concerns come shortly after Senior Response, the call centre for the elderly, released statistics showing 49 per cent of people across the UK will visit their elderly relatives this the festive season.
The research surveyed adults aged between 40 and 60 and showed that less than half would visit relatives, but 90 per cent would contact them in some way.
Peter Donald, from the Worcestershire Older People’s Forum, said: “Individually we keep an eye on our elderly neighbours,” he said.
The Worcester North Friendship Centre at Perdiswell also helps with these problems and meets monthly at the Young People's Leisure Club.