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81 year old Joy Matthews from Caerphilly is having mixed feelings about the forthcoming Christmas celebrations. “I’m not sure what I will be doing on the 25th – hopefully an invite will turn up, it has done in the past, but I’ve bought a frozen Christmas dinner just in case.

“In my dreams I’d love to jet off to Spain with my husband and a few close friends and celebrate Christmas there, but I know that’s not going to happen. The problem is that wherever I might end up I will bound to become some sort of burden as people will have to pick me up, not drink throughout Christmas day and then bring me home. I’ll be putting a hold on their festivities".

“But the biggest worry for me is that there will be no basic services between Christmas and New Year. GPs, dentists, and pharmacists will all be closed or running skeleton services. And even if there is a skeleton service how will older people get there when public transport is so limited. Like any bank holiday we worry about getting ill or having toothache. How will we cope"?

“In the past you were totally reassured knowing that all the services were there for you whenever you needed them, but not anymore, older people have to make their own arrangements to make sure they stay safe and well".

“Being widowed also makes things worse at Christmas. At first, people rallied round to make sure I was okay but then their help tailed off more and more with each passing Christmas. I can’t help but shed a tear each year as I think about past Christmases spent with my husband".

We spoke to Joy previously about her experience of loneliness, she kindly agreed to be filmed.

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice 08000 223 444

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