A third of elderly Ballymena people ‘suffering loneliness’

editorial image

Thousands of older people in Northern Ireland are facing the ups and downs of life almost entirely alone this Christmas but you can make a difference in their lives says Lauren O’Hara, Manager of the Age NI store in Ballymena.

She said: “Loneliness is one of the biggest issues facing older people in Northern Ireland today. One in three older people here tell us that they are lonely.

“Having someone to turn to, at any age, is important to us all. Everyone faces ups and downs. Services like Age NI day centres and the Age NI Advice Service are providing companionship, advice and support to thousands of people every year.

“Age NI stores support the work of the charity by providing invaluable income through sales and donations.

“Our stores are also hubs in our local communities where we see familiar faces who often call in for a browse and a chat.”

Lauren hopes to ensure that ‘no-one has no-one’ in Ballymena this Christmas.

She added: “People can make a big difference by looking out for older family, friends and neighbours.

“ At this time of year in particular, a little kindness can go a long way.

“Just lift the phone to say hello, help a neighbour bring in their bins, or offer a lift to the shops – often it’s the simple things that matter most.

“We would ask people to continue to help Age NI support people who are facing later life alone by popping into our store and picking up a thrifty Christmas outfit or gift!

To find our more about the ‘No one should have no one at Christmas’ appeal, visit www.ageni.org.

You can make a donation at any time to Age NI by calling 028 9024 5729 or visiting www.ageni.org/donate.