Many elderly people expect to be alone this Christmas.
And the MP for Wealden, Nus Ghani, has said it of “huge sadness” to her that three in every five people aged over 65 don’t expect festive happiness to be part of their Christmas next month.
The MP, who is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Elderly People, has backed Age UK’s campaign to combat loneliness among elderly people.
Many of the elderly face a great silence
The “No one should have no one at Christmas” campaign has been launched following the publication of research by Age UK which shows that more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
Ms Ghani is calling for people to sign Age UK’s petition, which is requesting the Government to take action to tackle this major problem affecting the lives of millions of older people.
She said: “By signing this petition, we can raise awareness of elderly loneliness, and increase the support available to older people.”
Happiness and companionship
“Christmas is supposed to be a time for celebration, togetherness and family, but for many older people it is a time of loneliness and sadness.
“As friends, neighbours and relatives, all of us have a role to play in making sure that elderly people don’t feel that life is leaving them behind, or that they are missing out on happiness and companionship,” she said.
In a related step, Ms Ghani has written to the Director of Adult Social Care and Health for East Sussex County Council, asking for an update on the steps the council has already taken to prioritise loneliness and whether it is now being addressed in the joint health and wellbeing strategy.