Christmas is a time when people come together with their family and friends to eat, drink, and be merry.

Even families who are spread out across the world can still get in touch with one another via the internet, or on the phone.

Sadly, in these times when we are more connected than ever there are still people who will be alone this Christmas, and the figures make for pretty grim reading.

Research done by the charity Age UK has found that there will be up to 1 million older people who will experience loneliness and isolation as some point across this festive season.

On top of this, they also found that more than 1 million people don't celebrate Christmas, and see it as just another normal day that passes them by.

Credit: Age UK

Caroline Abrahams, a director of Age UK told Sky News: "For many lonely older people the festive season also brings back memories of happier times in years gone by, reminding them of partners and other close relatives and friends who are no longer around and who they sorely miss."

What's more, the news gets worse for older people, as it has been forecast that this winter will see a rise in deaths related to the cold weather that we often experience at this time of year.

This week has seen temperatures stay pretty well below freezing all week, and the forecast isn't due to get much better.

Last year winter related deaths claimed 34,000 people in England and Wales alone, the second highest tally for nearly a decade.

This year is expected to be a colder winter than last one (which was relatively mild) and deaths could rise up to around the 40,000 mark.

Credit: PA Images

Of those that die, only 11% are under 65. This means that a large number of elderly people are under threat. Even more so if they are left on their own.

This makes it even more important to check in on anyone you know who might be having a bit of a struggle through the winter period.

Neighbours, friends, family, or even complete strangers can help out to make sure that older people are kept safe, as well as providing what could be some much needed company at what can be a pretty hard time of year.

Ms Abrahams also said:

"Having a friendly chat with an older person on the bus or in a shop, or offering to help an elderly neighbour with their shopping if the weather is bad, can do more good than most of us would ever guess, and at very little cost to ourselves. In fact I guarantee you'll feel better too as a result."

You can support and volunteer for Age UK's 'No-one Should Have No-one' Campaign here.

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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