A merry Christmas is a distant memory for many over 75 year olds in Scotland as one in five (20 percent) say they can't wait for the day to be over.
Almost 14,000 older people in Wales will spend Christmas Day alone this year, according to the Royal Voluntary Service. The stark findings revealed by the older people's charity, highlight the extent to which older people are forced to spend the day by themselves with no friends or family and only the television for company.
‘Christmas is a time most of us look forward to, but for many older people who will be spending it alone this year it can be a very sad and lonely time.’
Christmas is a time most of us look forward to, but for many older people who will be spending it alone this year it can be a very sad and lonely time. As we get older, our social circles often shrink and we become more likely to be spending long periods of time not speaking to anyone. This can be particularly hard at Christmas time when so much emphasis is placed on catching up with friends and family. Many older people only have their happier memories of Christmases gone by for company.
Phillip Schofield, ambassador for Royal Voluntary Service said: "For most of us Christmas is a wonderful time of year, full of fun, food and presents, but the highlight for most of us is spending quality time with our friends and family.
"For people sat on their own with nothing it is the worst time of the year. If we can each help with just a small act of kindness - a card, visit or offer of help - for an older person alone during the festive season, then I would like to encourage people to take that small step and make a huge difference to older people in your community."
While the nation starts preparing for the festive season, buying presents, inviting family over, many older people are dreading Christmas with 13 percent admitting they feel more lonely on Christmas Day than any other day.
For many (55 percent) it is just a reminder of happier times and loved ones lost. Over a fifth of older people (21 percent) say they feel sad remembering happier Christmases in the past.