North Tyneside CCG News

Fight loneliness this winter

Mon 15th December 2014

500,000 older people will spend Christmas alone this year. And 5 million say that TV is their main source of company. Loneliness is heart-breaking at the best of times, but it can seem even worse during winter. Bad weather can confine people to their homes and isolates many more.

You can help alleviate that loneliness by popping in to see an elderly relative, friend or neighbour to see how they are and check they have everything they need. Perhaps you could do a bit of shopping for them if they are stuck indoors or invite them round for a cup of tea and a chat.

Other ways in which you can help are by making sure their medicine cabinet is full and that they are aware of their pharmacist’s and GP’s opening times. Do they know that many supermarkets now offer online delivery services? It could save them venturing out in adverse weather. Have a look on your local council website to see what services are on offer for the elderly and vulnerable.

You could also point them in the direction of Silver Line, a free, confidential 24-hour phone-line offering advice, friendship and support to the elderly.

Esther Rantzen CBE, President and Founder of The Silver Line, says: “The truth about older people is that many of them have led long and fascinating lives but often feel that nobody is interested in their experiences. More than half of callers tell us they have no one to speak to at all apart from The Silver Line.”

Independent Age is another charity which can offer friendship to the lonely via one to one visits and telephone calls. They can also give advice on a range of topics, from which benefits are available to home-help and advice on sourcing and moving into a care home.

For more information about organisations and charities which can help older people, visit the following websites: