Whilst most of us look forward to enjoying our Christmas dinner with loved ones each year, this sadly isn’t the case for everyone. Research has shown that almost 870,000 older people will be eating dinner alone on Christmas day this year, including around 1 in 10 over 80*.
For decades, local charity, Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale, has reached out to thousands of vulnerable and isolated older people living in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. This Christmas the charity has teamed up with long-time supporter and Cardiff born and bred, 95 year old Sid to ask people living in our communities to “Give the Gift of Hope this Christmas”.
When asked why he feels it’s so important to support the work of Age Connects, Sid replies, “Where would I be without my family? I’m a very very fortunate man. I was widowed 18 years ago and my family and friends have ensured that I am never alone. If, like me, you are this fortunate, please think about those who aren’t this Christmas”. See Sid’s Gift of Hope message below.
Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale is asking you to visit its website https://www.ageconnectscardiff.org.uk/ or telephone 029 2068 3604 and make a donation to Give a Gift of Hope to an older person living locally this Christmas. You can make the donation from yourself or in the name of someone else as a thoughtful gift that brings hope to someone who desperately needs it. You will receive confirmation of your donation and the difference it has made.
Karen Steele from Age Connect Cardiff and the Vale explains, “Isolation is sadly the norm for many older people and not just a result of Covid 19. Our charity is determined to not only help with shopping, prescription collections and keeping in touch via telephone this Christmas, but also by providing ways in which people can keep occupied during these difficult times.
“We will be distributing ‘Boredom Buster’ packs to the older people we are supporting over the winter months. Each pack will include books, magazines, puzzles and useful contact information to spread a little festive cheer. However, we cannot achieve this goal without support from those living in our local communities.”
Unfortunately, it has bee shown that communities are not as strong as they used to be and the impact of this is that around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in over a month*.
The effects of loneliness on health are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and are more detrimental than obesity. To combat the fast-growing epidemic of loneliness, as a nation, we will need to come together and focus on building more community spirit.
Please help the team at Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale ‘Give the Gift of Hope this Christmas’ by making a much-needed donation to support those who need us most.
Visit www.ageconnectscardiff.org.uk or call: 029 2068 3604.