'˜Sleigh' loneliness in Milton Keynes this Christmas

No-one should be alone at Christmas and yet this year many elderly people will spend it by themselves.

Many people often feel at their loneliest or unhappiest at this time of year – that’s why NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding people that support is available and encouraging people to take steps to support others over winter.

Loneliness can have a serious impact on both physical and mental health.

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NHS Milton Keynes CCG has teamed up with Age UK Milton Keynes to signpost the support available locally and to encourage people to keep an eye out for elderly relatives and neighbours over the Christmas period.

This year Age UK is seeking to support older people in need, in a number of different ways.

Jane Palmer, chief executive officer of Age UK Milton Keynes, said: “During Christmas the companionship and support of friends and family seems to mean even more than usual – which is why loneliness feels even harsher. Yet for many older people in Milton Keynes loneliness is a daily reality.

“We need to change that. We need to make sure help is available for all older people who find their lives adversely affected by loneliness or illness or poverty, whatever the time of year.

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“Age UK Milton Keynes is working hard all year round to help older people face the different challenges that growing older brings.

“Whether it’s through the befriending service or lunch clubs, the information and advice service or just being somewhere to turn when things get too tough to cope with on your own, Age UK Milton Keynes provides crucial companionship, advice and support to thousands of people every year.”

To find out how you can make a difference - by making a donation or by becoming a volunteer, or to find out details of the local support available, visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/miltonkeynes/