Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“I know that the changes to Christmas arrangements will have come as a shock and disappointment to many older people and their loved ones, who will have been looking forward to spending time together at the end of what has been a very challenging year.
“However, I know that this very difficult decision will not have been taken lightly, and it is crucial that we follow the new regulations and guidance to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep each other safe this Christmas.
“I know that this Christmas could be particularly difficult for many older people, but it’s important to remember that help and support will still be available.
“Age UK’s advice line (0800 678 1602) and the Silverline (0800 4 70 80 90) will be available every day over the Christmas period to provide information, advice and support, for example.
“I would also urge any older people who are experiencing abuse, or anyone who has concerns about someone else to contact the Live Fear Free Helpline (0808 801 0800), which will be available 24 hours a day over Christmas.
“Local authorities throughout Wales will also be delivering a wide range of services and support to older people throughout the Christmas period.
“This year, it’s more important than ever that we all think about the things we could do to support an older person we know, whether a relative, friend or neighbour. Starting a conversation over the garden fence, picking up the phone or offering to do some last-minute shopping could make all the difference.
“As Commissioner, I will also continue to play my part by standing up and speaking out for older people to ensure that their rights are upheld and they get the support they need as we deal with the next phase of the pandemic.
“Please look out for each other and stay safe this Christmas.”