older woman looking out window at home

1 in 20 older people spent Christmas alone in 2023

Social isolation is a pressing issue worldwide, but particularly within Ireland. A study from the European Commission identified Ireland as the loneliest country in Europe, with our older population most severely affected by loneliness and isolation. A survey conducted by Bounce Insights on behalf of HaloCare in December 2023, has highlighted the loneliness suffered by older people within Ireland. For many people over 65 years of age in Ireland, the Christmas period intensified their feelings of loneliness. 1 in 20 surveyed over the age of 65 admitted that they would be spending the Christmas alone, with a further 1 in 6 reporting that they felt lonely, unhappy, angry, or disconnected over the Christmas season.

One of the many contributing factors to this growing isolation for the older generation is the impact of geographical distance from loved ones. 49% of over 65’s surveyed reported having family members who live far away or abroad whom they would like to have spent time with, but can’t due to physical distance.

Consequently, a number of older individuals spent Christmas alone and availed of homecare services to help them over the holiday period. Compounding the challenges faced by many who rely on homecare services, according to the survey, the respondents often noticed a decrease in the level of service available over the busy Christmas season with 42% of those who avail of homecare services noticing a disruption in their homecare over the Christmas.

Additionally, 39% of seniors expressed reluctance to leave their homes in winter weather conditions, adding another layer of complexity to the already prevalent issue of loneliness amongst the older population.

“There is no doubt that loneliness has detrimental effects on a person’s health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared loneliness a pressing global health threat with mortality effects equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

“Here at HaloCare, we know all too well that older people can experience loneliness across the year.

We operate 24/7, 365 days a year, so we can provide the support and social engagement that our clients need all year round.” said Martin Dunne, Managing Director. HaloCare.


“We would like to remind people to check in on their older neighbours as often as possible during the year, especially over the winter months. A quick “hello” can make all the difference to someone who may not have family or HaloCare to say hello every day.” – Martin Dunne, Managing Director. HaloCare.

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