Care homes across UK throw open doors to lonely older people this Christmas

Thousands of people will be spending Christmas alone as loneliness becomes an increasing problem, particularly among older people. To help with this issue, many Barchester care homes across the UK are opening their doors to older people from the local community who would otherwise be dining alone on Christmas day, to enjoy Christmas lunch with care home staff and residents.

Through the ‘Don’t Dine Alone’ initiative, guests will be treated to a delicious home-made lunch served up by Barchester’s talented chefs.

Bedewell Grange Care Home in Hebburn is one of the homes taking part and the home’s Activities Coordinator, Lisa Davison is helping to organise the day’s festivities. Lisa said: “This year we are hoping to host four or five older people from the neighbourhood, as well as residents’ family members, so we’re all very excited. Christmas Day is always an extra special celebration at Bedewell Grange and we are delighted to be able to share it with others, especially those who might normally spend the day on their own.” 

“Guests can look forward to a full Christmas lunch with mulled wine, chocolates, crackers and great company. Staff will dress up and wear festive accessories and even my Dachshund Poppy will be attending in her reindeer antlers.” 

Dr Pete Calveley, CEO at Barchester Healthcare said: “Nobody should have to spend Christmas on their own and we are delighted to launch an initiative that aims to bring communities closer together and to help older people who may feel isolated during the holiday season. 

“At Christmas time our homes hold many events which are open to friends and neighbours but the ‘Don’t Dine Alone’ initiative is special because Christmas lunch is a tradition at the heart of the season and the ideal activity through which to address the issue of loneliness in our society.”