Include elderly neighbours

THE WRVS in Scotland is urging people to bring elderly neighbours into their company this Christmas to brighten up the festive period for those who would otherwise be alone.

Many older people in Scotland are resigned to spending Christmas Day by themselves, with almost 10,000 saying they will spend the day alone this year, according to research by older people’s charity WRVS.

The stark findings highlight the extent to which older people are forced to spend time by themselves without the support of friends and neighbours, at what can be a very lonely and isolating time of year.

Winter can be a very lonely time for older people - recent research by WRVS showed that 52 per cent of older people across Britain feel much more vulnerable to falling during the colder months and so are less likely to leave the house. These feelings of loneliness can be made worse when forced to spend the festive period by themselves.

Charities and organisations like WRVS can provide help and support to older people who will be alone over the festive period.

Margaret Paterson, WRVS head of operations for Scotland, said: “Christmas is supposed to be a time for friends and family, but the sad reality for many older people is that they will have to spend it alone. Many are used to having long periods of time without company but it can be particularly difficult to spend Christmas alone, feeling as though everyone else is enjoying themselves.

“We urge everyone to spare a little time and thought this Christmas for older people in their community who may be spending the festive period alone. Asking if there’s any time they’d like to join you and help celebrate the holiday could make all the difference to their Christmas.”