Four million people in the UK will spend Christmas alone this year.
Half a million will be older adults. Many are widows. Being widowed can be one of the most overwhelmingly traumatic experiences that women face in their lives. Losing the closest person to you, the one you trust, love, care for and who is your closest friend, all in one go, can leave you feeling desperate and on your own.
Others are simply left behind when families migrate to different cities or even different countries.
And Christmas can be a particularly challenging time of the year. If your Christmas isn’t going to be a traditional family affair, you may feel alienated from the festive build-up on the high streets and television. Samaritans research shows nearly a quarter (23.6%) of people believe problems feel worse at Christmas and 1 in 6 (17.3%) say it’s the loneliest time of year. Samaritans will respond to about 200,000 calls for help over this festive period.
Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland says, “For many the holiday period can be a thoroughly enjoyable time but, sadly, as our research shows, for a startling amount of people this is not always the case. This time of year can bring up painful memories, or worsen difficult feelings often related to family or relationship issues, financial or health worries, to name just a few. The pressure to be having a good time or comparing your life with someone else’s can be too much. Even with friends and family around you, that sense of being alone with difficult thoughts or feelings, can make it seem as if you have no one to turn to.”
This Ikea advert portrays grandpa and the busy lives of his children who have long since fledged the nest, and struggle every year to make it home in time for Christmas. Now, I’m not sure we are condoning faking your own death to lure the family back to the dinner table, but there are ways to keep in touch and be there even when you can’t be.
This is our Joyce talking to Alcove employee Alberto – and the first time she’d ever used a touchscreen device. Not bad for a first timer. Our Alcove Connect device lets you voicecall, videocall or message a loved one. It’s good to KEEP IN TOUCH.
Aloneness at Christmas doesn’t have to equate to loneliness. Interactions afforded by technology and the internet, which enable friends and family to communicate even while they’re apart, mean no one should have to be lonely this Christmas. Check out how here.