New year can bring extreme loneliness for older people, say Age NI

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Jacqui Corscadden, Head of Services at Age NI, says that many older people experience severe feelings of loneliness in the weeks after Christmas.

‘During the festive period, many older people have friends and family around that they haven’t seen for months or years. But when the tree comes down, the decorations are packed away and our loved ones return home, that’s when many older people feel more lonely and isolated than ever before.

‘The Age NI Advice Service deals with over 10,000 calls from older people, their family and friends every year. We often receive a surge in calls in the winter months. Many are from older people who don’t see another person from week to week. Some of our callers have sent themselves letters just to make the postman calls by for a chat. Others are so isolated that the mere thought of venturing out, even to the local shops, becomes an insurmountable hurdle.

‘The Age NI Advice Service can help. Our trained local advisors can help by starting the process to reconnect older people with their friends, family and local communities. We work with clients to make sure any underlying health, money and care issues are identified and dealt with, and to find the support that will help them to live life to the full again.

If you or someone you know needs support to tackle loneliness and isolation, contact the Age NI Advice Service on freephone 0808 808 7575 today.’