Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton has visited sheltered housing in Falmouth run by older people’s charity, Abbeyfield Society to help highlight the isolation many pensioners feel over the festive period.
The visit coincided with the launch of a new Abbeyfield Society campaign highlighting the isolation and loneliness that some older people can feel, particularly at this time of year.
Research commissioned by Abbeyfield has shown that nearly two thirds of people over 65 (61%) say they find it hard to cope at Christmas due to isolation and loneliness.
The research indicates that at least 2.5 million older people are not looking forward to Christmas this year and over 700,000 people do not expect to have a Christmas meal with all the trimmings.
Commenting Mrs Newton said: ‘‘It was a pleasure as always to visit Abbeyfield’s Falmouth site, and to meet with residents and the dedicated staff who support them. Like many other Abbeyfield sites the Falmouth complex will be welcoming local residents through its doors this Christmas, to give them the warm and joyful Christmas Day they deserve.
‘Whilst lauding Abbeyfield for this initiative, it is important to remember that loneliness’s amongst older people is something we can all help with. I know of many kind and caring constituents who go out of their way to befriend and support older neighbours living alone, these are examples we can all follow. We owe a great debt of gratitude and compassion to the older generation and the spreading of Christmas cheer is an important way of showing we care.’’
Over 120 Abbeyfield sheltered houses and homes up and down the UK are expected to open their doors to older people in their community as part of Abbeyfield’s annual Coping at Christmas campaign which this year is being endorsed by Richard Wilson and Nicholas Parsons.