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A New Forest retirement community, designed for veterans and former emergency personnel has shared its top tips for combatting loneliness at Christmas. With recent statistics from Age UK showing that 2.3 million older people wish they had someone to spend time with at Christmas, Chevrons Living is strengthening its commitment to nurturing togetherness for its residents and has pulled together some pointers for helping seniors to remain connected. 

Chevrons Living’s  top 10 tips to combat loneliness at Christmas: 

  • Explore local events: Check out local groups and clubs hosting activities. Cafés and restaurants often have events, offering a chance to meet new people.
  • Connect with loved ones: Reach out to family and friends. Let them know you’d appreciate spending more time with them during the festive season.
  • Start new traditions: Create new traditions to bring joy, like visiting new places, buying unique decorations, or volunteering during Christmas.
  • Seek professional support: If loneliness becomes overwhelming, contact organisations like Age UK or The Silver Line for companionship or confidential support.
  • Join community gatherings: Attend community events or church services, which often have special programmes during Christmas.
  • Engage in social media communities: Join online forums or social media groups that organise virtual meet-ups or share festive activities.
  • Participate in workshops or classes: Look for holiday-themed workshops or classes in your area, like cooking or crafts, which are great for meeting others. Libraries are a great place to start!
  • Volunteer for a cause: Volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and community. Look for local charities or events needing help.
  • Exercise or join fitness groups: Physical activity can boost mood. Join a local walking group or attend a fitness class.
  • Plan a get-together: Host a small gathering or a virtual meet-up with friends or neighbours. Sharing a meal or playing games can be uplifting.

Taking into consideration that closures of social spaces make it harder to combat these feelings of loneliness, Chevrons Living has pledged to provide a packed itinerary for those living there, ensuring a blend of festive, cultural, and social activities, tailored to the interests and well-being of the residents. “Recognising the challenges of loneliness among the elderly, especially during festive times, we at Chevrons Living are dedicated to creating a warm, communal atmosphere,” said Tony Harvey, Manager of Chevrons Living. 

Chevrons’ newly-formed Escape Committee will also organise festive trips, including to renowned Christmas markets, such as Salisbury and Winchester, so residents can immerse themselves in the sights and sounds.

Tony added: “There are plenty of local church services in Fordingbridge in the run-up to Christmas, with carol concerts to enjoy. There are also local groups that offer activities and crafts to do in the build-up to Christmas, details of which we circulate to residents so that they have plenty of opportunities to get out and mingle.”

Tony said: “If you’re interested in finding out more about Chevrons, or know someone who might be, please call us on 01425 200 428. We’d love to show you around and share what we have to offer.”

For more information on Chevrons Living, please visit: http://chevronsliving.com/