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Avoid the buying frenzy
Who doesn’t love a bargain? The problem is, we all seem to get sucked into to the commercial whirlwind and this year I am determined to take a different approach.
If you’re hovering over the laptop snapping up those online deals or traipsing the high street looking for reduced labels, can I urge you to step away from the screen for 5 minutes or take a breather in a coffee shop and think what it must be like to spend Christmas alone. That’s the reality for almost 1 million older people in the UK, who won’t be contacted by anyone this festive season.
Add more Christmas cards into your basket
We launched our Christmas campaign #onemorecard to encourage people to reach out to lonely older people in their neighbourhood by hand delivering a Christmas card to them. It’s the perfect icebreaker to starting a conversation and you don’t need to know an individual’s name or personal circumstances to send them your well wishes. Knowing that somebody cares enough to write a card can provide so much comfort to those suffering the pangs of loneliness. The introduction may lead to a new friendship and it will almost certainly brighten their day and yours too.
Take a breather
So, instead of getting carried away by the shopping mania this year why not avoid Friday 23rd November altogether; take a slower approach, spend time with an older member of your community who might otherwise be excluded from the build up to Christmas.
Taking older people out for an evening of Christmas shopping, on a quieter day of the week, could also rekindle your own joy for finding special gifts for loved ones, free from the time pressures imposed when seizing a bargain. Browse the shopping aisles together, marvel at the window displays and the festive lights and see for yourself what difference it makes to their week.
Consider becoming a Home Helper
Here’s a list of ways Close to Hand Home Helpers can make a difference to the older people they visit:
Close to Hand wants to help banish isolation over the festive period and beyond. Join us in sending just #onemorecard this year, ring the doorbell, strike up a conversation and make a connection. If you can ease the pain of loneliness for somebody, you could very well be offering them a lifeline.