Christmas can be lonely for some, so Broome locals have been urged to consider giving a gift, even of their time, to seniors and especially isolated older people.
While families gather to enjoy gifts and meals, many older people are trying to get through the day, but a visit from a friend or neighbour can make all the difference.
At home for the elderly Germanus Kent House, in Broome, much effort is being made to help residents enjoy Christmas.
Manager Andy McGaw said there would be a Christmas lunch with residents’ family and friends coming in from remote communities to visit.
Our Lady Queen of Peace choir will visit to sing carols and Broome Lionesses have purchased a collection of DVDs to gift to the centre.
Mr McGaw said Christmas was a great time for locals to consider others.
“A number of our residents are illiterate, so some people come in and read books with them, such as Creatures of the Kimberley, which have great pictures,” he said.
Mr McGaw said residents, many of whom were not from Broome, did report feeling isolated and lonely at times.
“So if people do have some spare time, depending on the time and what they wanted to do, we can help find a way for them to make a contribution, and even provide some training and support to help with visitation,” he said.
“We care for our little children, we should care for our older people — that’s a sign of a healthy community.”
For more information, call Germanus Kent House on 9194 0777.
Meanwhile, National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neill said it didn’t take much to check on a neighbour to see if they were all right.
“And if the budget will stretch to it, perhaps pick up a pack of mince pies or a bit of ham the next time you are in the supermarket,” he said.
“Little things like that can make all the difference and help older people feel more connected to their communities.”
Mr O’Neill said Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show by 2031, the number of people living alone could grow to more than 901,000 — including between 29-31 per cent of older Australians.