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50,000 Lonely In Surrey & Hampshire This Christmas

3 minute read
50,000 Lonely In Surrey & Hampshire This Christmas

Published at 2:58pm 24th December 2017. (Updated at 11:31am 6th November 2018)

Shocking rates of loneliness have been revealed among elderly people at Christmas time. 

Age UK say nearly a million people say they feel lonelier at this time of the year.

In Surrey and Hampshire, around 50,000 people are 'chronically lonely'. 

Many factors can cause loneliness in older people, such as a change in lifestyle or loss of a loved one, especially when this loss is their partner. 

During the festive season people's feeling of isolation can become heightened.

Diana Bignell from Age UK Surrey explains why: "On Christmas Day it's a really unique time of the year. Normal day to day activities don't happen, shops don't open, and it's a time when on TV there's lots of images of happy families. 

"This can bring back memories of happier times that they had with their loved ones who are no longer with them." 

Feeling lonely isn't just a simple emotion, it can have a great impact on someone's health too.

'Recent research has revealed that it's as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and can increase your risk of depression, dementia and blood pressure."

But there's ways we're being encouraged to help, by the charity. 

Diana explains: "I think it's all about small acts of kindness. 

Talking to people, taking the time to smile at someone even if you don't know them, they may be feeling vulnerable and alone.

"If you have a quick word with them, passing the time of day, it can make all the difference to them."

Age UK offer a range of support to combat loneliness such as a 'befriending service'

Love Christmas Music? Why not check out our brand new Christmas Radio Station called Eagle Christmas. We'll be playing your favourite festive classics throughout November and December. Listen to us online, on free app and on smart speaker.

Click here to listen to Eagle Christmas! 

Eagle Christmas in association with Farnborough Leisure Centre and Arena Leisure Centre Camberley
Eagle Christmas is a brand new Christmas Radio Station in Surrey and Hampshire


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