A recent article in the UK’s Telegraph reminds us that the Christmas season isn’t so merry for (some) aging adults. The Telegraph’s John Bingham reports that an “analysis commissioned by the charity Age UK found that for almost 550,000 elderly people, far from generating feelings of good will and festive cheer, Christmas will simply bring back memories of loved-ones who have passed away.”
A poll of over 65s found that a quarter (24 per cent), the equivalent of 2.7 million people across the UK, say they are not looking forward to Christmas. Of those 11 per cent – equivalent to 342,000 people if applied across the over-65 population of the UK – said it was because they would be on their own. – John Bingham, The Telegraph
John Lewis’ “The Man on the Moon”
UK Study: Loneliness At Christmas
In a project commissioned by the charity Age UK, researchers found that Christmas time brought back memories of loved ones with us no more. A significant number of those surveyed felt that they’d be spending the holidays on their own, or that they would “barely see their family”. Loneliness at Christmas seems to be a growing problem throughout the world. Did you know that in the UK, one million aging adults go for a month or more without speaking to anyone? If that doesn’t tear at your heart strings, nothing will.
The key takeaway here is to reach out to your family members and/or friends during the holiday times. Skype, FaceTime, a phone call, or a simple letter can go a long way to bringing cheer to those that need it. Check on neighbors and friends to see if an hour out of your day might bring cheer and happiness to someone in need. Educate your children on this epidemic, and enlist them to help brighten someones holiday. Remember, one day you might find yourself “living on the moon”…
Man on the Moon – The Rest of the Story
Are you doing anything special to brighten up someone else’s holiday season? Do you have any specific strategies for making sure your loved ones feel loved? Please share below in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.