While the festive season can bring a great deal of joy and happiness, it can also be a time of sadness and change for many.

As we age, our risk of isolation can increase and, as a result, older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and isolation. Due to health and physical changes, some people may opt to self-isolate due to the perception of being a ‘burden’.

For some, it may be the first year without a loved one. The power that grief can have over your quality of life can be enormous. As many of us know, the death of a loved one is a life-changing experience.

In residential aged care, there are over 200,000 individuals who may not have any visitors during Christmas. It also may be someone’s first Christmas in a different place.

One small act of kindness can make such a difference to someone’s life.

Is there a simple act of kindness you can offer? During this festive season, stop and take the time to notice those around you. A random act of kindness does not need to be expensive – it may only cost us our time.

Do you have a neighbour who you have not seen for a while? Perhaps invite them over for a cup of tea. Drop off a box a chocolates to your local aged care home. Or take the time to make a call to someone you have not spoken to in a while. Take the time to acknowledge someone who is important to you – say thank you for all they have done during the year and let them know it has meant a lot.

We may not be able to change the world on our own, however we can change someone else’s with one simple act of kindness….what can you do?

Mel Ottaway
Executive Manager, Services for Older People