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Look out for the Elderly this Christmas – McLaughlin

15 December, 2008

Sinn Féin spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has called for people to look out for their elderly relatives and neighbours this Christmas.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"Christmas and the New Year is for many a joyous occasion but for others it can be a very lonely time when they feel marginalised and cut off from the rest of society.

"In particular I am thinking of older people living on their own whose only contact with the outside world from one day to next is the visit of their home help, carer, postman or postwomen. Increasing numbers of older people find themselves alone when their family members have to move away from their home town to find jobs or to buy a new house. Sadly, they may simply not have any relatives living close by.

"I would therefore, appeal this Christmas for people to take a step back and amidst all the celebrations ask themselves is there something I could do that could help an elderly relative or neighbour? There is excellent working being done by voluntary and community groups in organising functions and events over the festive period. If anyone knows of an elderly relative or neighbour who is unaware of organised events they should help them make contact with the group in their local area or even visit them or invite them to join you for Christmas dinner.

"Taking time out to call with an elderly relative or neighbour and enquiring if they need any assistance over the festive season could make a world of difference to the individual and personally fulfilling.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all the people of South Antrim a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year." ENDS

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