Will it be lonely this Christmas? Neighbours to visit elderly residents to ensure they stay warm over winter

By Danielle Wainwright

A campaign to battle the cold and loneliness that many elderly suffer over Christmas will help hundreds of thousands of people stay warm this winter.

The national NHS campaign urges friends, family and neighbours to check in with elderly residents to ensure that they do not fall victim to the bitter winter months.

Each winter thousands of people, many who are aged over 75, die in England as a result of cold weather.

The NHS have also created an petition calling for 100,000 people to sign an electronic pledge titled: “I will take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well.”

Kind-hearted residents who sign the petition will receive free cold weather alerts and email tips.

In England, More than half of people aged older than 75 live alone with most saying that the television is a main source of company.

Dr Hamish Stedman, Chair of Salford CCG and GP at the Lakes Medical Centre in Swinton, said: “It’s a sad fact that many people over the age of 75 in Salford live alone.

“If you have an elderly friend or neighbour who is frail or has an existing health problem, popping in to check all is well may prevent illness.

“If you find they are unwell, please encourage them to seek medical advice from their local pharmacy or GP. By doing your bit you could help them avoid ending up in hospital.”

People who wish to sign the pledge and join the NHS Winter Friends campaign should go to

Picture courtesy of Amro via Flickr, with thanks.

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