There is increasing evidence confirming many of our older people are vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation.
Studies confirm a feeling of being alone can have a detrimental impact on the health of the older person.
Whatever the causes Christmas time can be especially difficult.
At a time when families and friends come together the older person living alone and without visitors can feel left out and in the extreme feel abandoned.
In this part of the world we have a reputation for being friendly.
Befriending a living alone neighbour doesn’t take a great deal of effort.
Due to pride the living alone senior citizen is unlikely to reach out; so let’s connect with them as our neighbours.
Just popping in, especially during the long, cold, dark winter nights and the Christmas holidays, can raise morale levels and address bouts of feeling depressed.
It makes good neighbour sense.
Adam Newton, Councillor, Belfast City Council