Please look out for vulnerable neighbours over the Christmas period

City of York Council is urging residents to think of vulnerable friends and neighbours over the festive period.

Casserole_Christmas_Campaign_HeaderIt’s estimated that over half a million older people in the UK spend Christmas Day alone*.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health, City of York Council, said: “For many people, Christmas and the festive break is a chance to spend time with family and friends. But for hundreds of older and vulnerable people across the York area the holiday period can be a lonely and difficult time.

“I would urge people to pop in to check on vulnerable neighbours or make time for elderly relatives to make sure they have a warm, healthy and happy Christmas. No one should be lonely over the festive period.”

Top tips for supporting older or vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives, include:

  • Make sure they’re warm enough – the temperature in their home should be at least 18oC, particularly if they are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over, and they may need to wear several layers of clothes to stay warm.
  • Try to make sure they have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
  • Check that they have enough medication to last the period that their GP practice is closed, so they don’t risk getting ill if they run out.
  • Information about social groups and activities for older people is available through or through contacting Age UK York on 01904 627995.

Christmas can also be a particularly difficult time for people living with dementia. For information about how to support people with dementia over the festive period, visit and search for ‘tips for Christmas support’.

For more information about Age UK’s national Spread the Warmth campaign visit or see more information about keeping well during winter.

*figures based on research carried out by Age UK in 2011

York Council cuts meal for elderly

Lunch off menu at Gale Farm Court, Barstow House etc


The Council is stopping serving of lunch for residents in its sheltered accommodation units.

Potentially all sheltered units are affected and letters have gone out today to affected tenants.

Although the Council claims to have consulted about the planned withdrawal of the service, in reality most residents thought they were being told about changes to how the meals would be provided.

The termination of the service therefore comes as a shock.

It is partly a legacy of the social care budget scandal that became public earlier in the year.

The Cabinet member with responsibility for the service lost her job at that time but now it seems that vulnerable elderly people are the ones who will suffer.

The social side of the mid day meal is particularly valued by many residents of sheltered accommodation who otherwise can become isolated in their own flats.Behind closed doors logo

The decision appears to have been taken behind closed door. There was no public discussion about the options available to the Council and affected residents.

Earlier in the year concerns were raised about hygiene standards at some care homes in York

Sheltered units with extra care in York include (click for details)

  1. Barstow House
  2. Gale Farm Court
  3. Glen Lodge
  4. Marjorie Waite Court

York social care website attracts small number of visitors

The “new” social care website – Connect to Support – has had over 700 visitors.

click to access

click to access

The site enables older people, those with disabilities, or those who simply need some support to remain independent, to shop for support services and products, find local activities and groups and look up information and advice – since it “officially” launched in November.

The site had caused some concern when it went live last Spring without any explanation

The site brings together several resources that will give adults in the city a new and innovative way of finding out what options are available to meet their needs.

For more information on how Connect to Support visit