A new survey by the charity Age UK has found that Christmas is the loneliest time of year for more than 1.5 million older people in the UK, with those who have been widowed feeling it the most.
The survey, which was carried out as part of the charity’s ‘You are not alone’ campaign, found that more than three-quarters (77%) of over 65s agree that the first Christmas after losing someone you love is the hardest. Up to 170,000 older people will soon face that first Christmas without their spouse.
The research found that over 750,000 older widowed people often feel more lonely over Christmas than at any other time of the year. Over 200,000 older widows and widowers said they were not looking forward to the festive season because they will be alone. Over 700,000 (23%) say it brings back too many memories of people who have passed away and of happier times.
The campaign, No one should have no one to turn to, is shining a light on how tough this time of year can be for many older people, especially if they are on their own having lost their partner. As part of the campaign, the charity has released a new report, You are Not Alone, which looks in more detail at what we know about the impacts of bereavement and shares some of the stories of those who have reached out to the charity following a painful loss.
More information about the campaign is available here.