A Senior Citizen helpline has seen a 40% increase in calls over the past year.
Seniorline which has been in operation for over 20 years says more and more people in areas like the North West of Ireland are calling because they feel isolated in rural areas.
Rural isolation is a reality for older people living on their own in many parts of the country.
Anne Dempsey, Communications Manager with Seniorline says that in 2017 the number of calls to their support line has increased by over a third.
She says they men and women are increasingly calling about experiencing loneliness, frailty, disability, family conflict, poor local services and fears of living alone.
She told me what she’s hearding from people calling from the North West area:
She’s urging people to reach out to older people in your local community this Christmas.
She says something as small as a simple card can help or an invite to meet.
More importanty Anne says that if you are feeling isolated yourself and you get an invitation to help yourself by accepting those offers: