Look out for the elderly as you celebrate the festive season with family
CHRISTMAS is almost here – and while most of us are looking forward to warm and hectic family celebrations ahead, plenty of elderly and frail people may instead be dreading a bleak and lonely festive season.
NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group is urging people to spare a thought and some time for any vulnerable friends and neighbours this winter, to help them overcome loneliness and stay well – and perhaps even keep them out of hospital.
Recent research by the Age UK charity suggests as many as 60 per cent – or six million – of the UK’s over65s say the holiday period is an unhappy time of the year for them.
Many say they miss loved ones who have died and other friends and family members may be too busy or distant to visit. elderly compose the some shopping or chores
NHS England’s Director largest group admitted to for them; or maybe give for Acute Care Professor hospital in the winter.” them a lift to shops, GP or Keith Willett said: “The So find some time to pharmacy to pick up fact that a third of elderly check in on elderly and medication or get their flu jab.peopleneveroronlyfrailfriendsand occasionally socialise neighbours over the Most important of all, with family or friends is coming weeks and months. please look out for signs of not only a sad indictment You can make sure they illness and make sure they of the society we live in, are keeping warm (homes seek help before it but the results of that are recommended to be becomes more serious. social isolation present 18°C) and are eating Chiltern CCG’s Clinical one of the biggest properly – perhaps even Commissioning Director challenges to the NHS take them meals. for Urgent Care Dr Rebecca over the winter. The You could offer Mallard-Smith said: “We all
to do lead busy lives, but checking on elderly and vulnerable friends and neighbours can make a world of difference to them. Loneliness can be miserable, especially around Christmastime, and it can have a tremendously damaging effect on a person’s mental health.
“Simple human contact is vital for our general wellbeing – not to mention being able to give some practical help if it is needed.
“And remember, your support can help prevent vulnerable people from having accidents and stop common winter illnesses from developing into something more serious. Not only is that better for your friend or neighbour, but it will also ease the pressures on your health services this winter.”