Balhousie Care homes open their doors to the lonely this Christmas

Balhousie Care Group, Scotland’s leading provider of residential care, is once more opening its doors to people who face spending Christmas Day alone.

Care home managers have been liaising with local authorities to identify members of the community who face a lonely festive season and could benefit from some companionship this Christmas Day. The invitations have gone out, via social workers, for people to share Christmas dinner and join in festivities at Balhousie Care Group’s 25 care homes across the north east of Scotland.

Among those who are taking part are: Balhousie Brookfield in Carnoustie, Balhousie Wheatlands in Bonnybridge, Balhousie Forth View in Leven, Balhousie Lisden in Kirriemuir, Balhousie Pitlochry and Balhousie Coupar Angus.

With a presence in five regions of Scotland and strong community contacts, Balhousie Care Group is in a prime position to extend the hand of friendship this festive season, said Tony Banks, the group’s Chairman.

Tony said: “Isolation and loneliness are well documented social problems in the U.K. and at this time of year these feelings can be exacerbated. At Balhousie Care Group we’re in the business of caring, and all 25 of our care homes already have close community partnerships. It makes perfect sense that we invite those who don’t have family or friends to be with this Christmas Day, to join us.”

Loneliness has been described as a public health crisis in the U.K., with some experts saying that living alone and lacking social connections is as dangerous to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Chronic loneliness can affect mental and physical health and lead to depression, anxiety and dementia, according to the charity Age Scotland.

For the award-winning Balhousie Care Group, this is the latest in a raft of community initiatives, both at individual care homes and company-wide. Two weeks ago, Balhousie Care was a sponsor of Sleep in the Park Dundee, with almost 200 team members taking part to raise awareness about homelessness in Scotland via the charity Social Bite.