Christmas time, a difficult period for those who are alone

This Christmas, like every year, the members of the International Federation of the petits frères des Pauvres and their partners didn’t leave the elderly they serve alone.
In France, for example, more than 20,000 isolated elderly people were able to choose to participate in a Christmas reception or to be delivered a special meal at home, thanks to the help of 7000 volunteers.

“We share a meal but also small stories, big discussions, laughter, dances, like at a family Christmas meal,” says Arnaud, 35, who has been a volunteer since 2014.

In Irlande, just like in the other countries, the spirit of Christmas, music and dances were present!
In Valencia (Spain), Christmas Eve brought together 160 elderly people and 143 volunteers from the organization, as well as employees of a company and students from the European University of Valencia who gave their time to help with the organization of the party.


In a fascinating article published right after Christmas, sociologist Michel Billé explains the exclusion mechanisms that affect our elders and the importance of the role of non-profit organizations like ours:
« We are moving from a society of relationships to a society of connections. If the relationship settles in time, the connection is reversible. Even our affective relationships are shaken up by all that. The social bond is made of rituals. Even mortuary rituals disappear. We can understand it, since they were religious. But how to find new rituals? Society does as if death didn’t exist and does not seem to face the problem of isolation of seniors.
The end-of-year celebrations are deeply rooted rituals that strengthen the social bond. But many are excluded. Partying is not of all ages. And also, the older ones stay alone because means of transportation are expensive…
The non-profit organizations help compensate for the progressive destructuring of the social bond and offer to the most deprived new possibilities to renew relationships. »
To read the full article :


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