News & Media

Tackling loneliness this festive season

03.12.2019

We regularly hear from you about the challenges you face in supporting patients who are experiencing loneliness. In the words of former RCGP chair and head of the new National Academy for Social Prescribing, Dr Helen Stokes Lampard: “Loneliness and social isolation can have an adverse impact on health akin to a chronic long-term condition.”

The national charity Reengage says that: 

  • over the last 20 years, the number of people over 75 who live alone has gone up to 2.2m
  • nearly half of older people say the TV is their main source of company
  • older people living alone are significantly more likely to experience health problems, visit their GP or attend A&E.

That’s why this December, we’re proud to be supporting Re-engage’s Community Christmas campaign on behalf of everyone working from our primary care buildings around the country – helping its mission to make sure that no older person in the UK is alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be.

The campaign gives older people a place to go to celebrate the festive season, and encourages people and organisations to set up events where people can get together this December – whether it’s tea and mince pies, a festive drink or a full Christmas dinner.

“I had a lovely time at the Christmas event last year, it was so nice having people to speak to. I don’t have any family, so being able to spend Christmas with other people who make you feel so welcome was wonderful. There is nothing worse than sitting on your own eating Christmas dinner – one year, I threw it all away, as it just didn’t mean the same all on my own. I’ve had an adventurous life and it is wonderful to share those adventurous stories with others. It is a comfort to know I won’t be alone this Christmas.” Chloe

Read more about our work to help reduce loneliness.

Read about the #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign