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Dame Judi Dench teams up with Age UK to raise awareness of loneliness at Christmas

17th November 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Following the results of a survey which claims millions of pensioners will endure a lonely Christmas, Dame Judi Dench has teamed up with Age UK to ask the public to help. As many as 6 in 10 people over the age of 65 admitted that the holiday period is an unhappy time of year, as they often spend it on their own, due to deaths or relatives being too busy to visit.

The survey also highlighted the disconnections between generations, as just 23 per cent of those aged 18-34 said they intended to spend time with grandparents this Christmas, while 61 per cent of older people wish to spend the festive season with younger relatives. Also, less than half of people ages 25-54 say that they plan to visit their parents on Christmas Day.

Famous people calling for help from public

Alongside a host of other celebrities, Dame Judi Dench hopes to raise awareness of this issue, encouraging people to visit lonely older people, donate, or volunteer to help. The campaign is called ‘No one should have no one at Christmas’ and details the way in which people can help to make a difference to pensioners suffering from yuletide loneliness.

Dame Judi told the Daily Express: “Like many, I eagerly await the arrival of loved ones at Christmas and without them the festive celebrations just wouldn’t be the same. It’s heartbreaking to think of those who will have no one at all to share these special occasions.”

It is hoped that the statistics of the survey will show just how serious the matter is, with a petition hoping to highlight to the government just how detrimental loneliness can be to physical and mental health.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Loneliness is not a normal part of ageing and it not only makes life miserable, it can have a serious impact on physical and mental health too.”

 

Image Credit: Atlatele fr (flickr.com)