Denbighshire County Council has issued a Christmas message, urging people to be a good friend or neighbour and look after those people who could otherwise be lonely this festive season.
Councillor Bobby Feeley, Cabinet Lead Member for Health and Social Care, said: “With Christmas just around the corner, many of us will be looking forward to spending time with our friends and family, we are busy organising food and presents and enjoying social gatherings.“Sadly, Christmas is not so good for everyone, it can be a time when we are lonely, perhaps some have suffered sensory loss confining activity, their families may live away, or they may have suffered bereavement, so at this time of year, spare a thought for an older person you know who may be lonely this Christmas – give their door a knock, say hello, or invite them round for a cup of tea or a drink. Little things like these can often make a big difference, can make someone's day.
“For some people, this is what every single day is like, with nothing to do or look forward to. Many organisations, work tirelessly across Wales to tackle loneliness and isolation, organisations like Age Connects, Age Cymru, Red Cross and many others, who deliver essential befriending services that so many older people rely on; The Silver Line in Wales took over 275,000 calls last year from older people who just wanted someone to talk to. The positive impact of services like these is clear: it is estimated, for example, that spending £80 on befriending services could save up to £300 from other budgets by reducing the need for formal, high-level support.
Councillor Feeley added: “Denbighshire has the second largest population of older people and we are working hard to encourage and support independence, thinking of new and imaginative ways to provide our residents with services to ensure sustainability into the future. Denbighshire's 'Ageing Well' programme has been a catalyst for much of the work, we are encouraging neighbourliness, involving communities and importantly tapping into that wealth of volunteers, who work selflessly to help care for loved ones, support children and grandchildren and sustain charities and communities wherever they can.
“We realise how important it is to have social contact, friends, hobbies, reasons to get up in the morning, it's good to recognise and air these things, and brilliant that so many of us are highlighting, a once taboo subject, and making great strides to tackle the problem head on."