This time of year is also special thanks to festive movies, giving and receiving gifts, and the chance to catch-up with relatives you don’t see very often. But with the excitement of the holidays, the Bupa care home research found it’s all too easy for those polled to forget those less fortunate than themselves. Three quarters admitted they get so caught up with all the hubbub of Yuletide they have been guilty of not considering the plight of others. And as many as a third have felt lonely at Christmas at one time or another.
To help tackle the issue, more than 70 Bupa care homes will open their doors on December 25 – welcoming older people who might otherwise spend the day alone.
Joan Elliott, the managing director of Bupa Care Services, said: “While mince pies and presents will always be festive favourites, it’s being with friends and family that really makes Christmas Day so special.
“But not everyone is so lucky and, particularly for older people, there’s a risk of spending Christmas by themselves.
“That’s why our care homes will be welcoming guests again this Christmas, to help ensure that nobody has to spend Christmas alone.”
The study also found around half would want to be invited over to celebrate the big day with others if they found themselves alone on Christmas Day.
Furthermore, 42 percent fear they will one day have to spend the festive period without company.
But two thirds have never invited those who would otherwise be alone to share Christmas with them.
The study revealed that the Christmas spirit appears to be alive and well in other areas though with 83 percent saying the true meaning of Christmas is to spend it with others.
Half would consider having socially isolated members of the community over for a festive feast and three in 10 will check in with elderly neighbours during the holidays to make sure they are okay.
In addition to looking out for one another, food is a crucial part of Christmas, according to those polled via OnePoll.
Pigs in blankets, turkey and eating lots of chocolate all featured in the top 25 best things about this time of year.
Joan Elliott added: “We’ll be hosting a range of festive activities, and of course our chefs pull out all the stops with the Christmas lunch.
“The main thing though is that there are other friendly faces to share a joke or a story, and spend the day with.
“It’s the fourth year we’ve been involved with the campaign and we’re all really excited to be taking part again.
“The responses have been fantastic, both from guests and colleagues alike. It makes you realise what Christmas spirit is all about.”
A list of all participating Bupa care homes can be found at https://www.bupa.co.uk/community-christmas
Top 10 Best Things About Christmas
1. Spending time with friends and family
2. Giving presents
4. Pigs in blankets
5. Receiving presents
6. Mince pies
7. Eating loads of chocolate
8. Getting time off work
9. Seeing relatives you don’t see much of
10. Watching Christmas movies