An estimated 22,000 London care workers will be at work on Christmas Day in order to provide essential support to people with adult social care needs in London – and London Councils is asking Londoners to do what they can to help isolated and lonely people living near them.
There are around 153,000 people who use adult social care services in London, two thirds of which are aged 65 or older.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE, London Councils' Executive member for adult social care, said:
“I would like to thank the 22,000 care workers across London who will be providing essential support for the most vulnerable people living in the capital on Christmas Day, and indeed throughout the festive season.
“London boroughs strive to deliver and commission a range of adult social care services to ensure all those with eligible needs lead independent and fulfilling lives.
“But we can all do our bit to support older people and those who are socially isolated. I urge Londoners to think about what they can do to help others by looking in on a neighbour, offering to share a meal or run errands, or volunteering for a local charity.”
Adult social care services encompass day centres, home care, and residential care homes, as well as activities, counselling, mental health support and rehabilitation.
At this time of the year, boroughs also organise community Christmas meals and events as well as delivering festive hampers to targeted groups such as those living alone.
Notes to editors:
The Silver Line, a helpline for older people, has received 76,000 calls from isolated older people in London since its launch in 2013.
According to the TUC, 168,000 care workers were at work in the UK on Christmas Day in 2015. ONS data projected that London’s population was 8.5 million and the UK population was 64.6 million. As London as just over 13 per cent of the national population, we estimate it will have the same share of care workers, which is 22,105. This matches the findings of the 2015 Skills for Care report, which shows that London has 13 per cent of the national adult social care workforce.
Westminster City Council
No one should be alone at Christmas, so people who are on their own are invited to spend Christmas Day amid the stunning surroundings of Porchester Hall in Bayswater. Guests will be treated to a home-cooked meal followed by classic films and entertainment.
The free event is being hosted by Everyone Active Events, Westminster City Council’s leisure centre contractors and staffed by volunteers. It is supported by Waitrose, Wishes Caterers and Perception Live Events.
London Borough of Merton
Merton Council’s MASCOT Telecare team will be working on Christmas Day. They provide a 24 hour call out service for vulnerable residents, enabling older people to remain in their homes and providing peace of mind for their relatives.
The service, subsidised by Merton Council, is run from the Civic Centre where mobile response officers are on standby to travel to people’s homes as soon as they are alerted that an elderly person has had a fall, for example.
London Borough of Newham
Newham Council has spread some seasonal cheer to around 3,000 older residents by giving them a special Christmas hamper.
Now in its third year, the hamper initiative is led by the council’s eight Community Neighbourhood Teams who bring residents together throughout the year with different activities and events.
Over the last few weeks, people aged 70 and over, who live alone and are on low incomes, have received hampers packed with a range of treats and essentials including tea, coffee, jams, biscuits, soup, tinned vegetables and shortbread.
They have been offered the chance to have the hamper delivered or to collect it at one of the festive events being staged by their local Community Neighbourhood Team where they can meet other recipients and make new friends.