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Each year, as winter takes hold, one thing we sometimes forget as the celebrations and parties see joy and happiness, is that not everybody has the opportunity to share in that happiness, with more and more people spending the seasonal time alone.

According to figures from the 2011 census which were released recently, across the Alicante province there are a staggering 71,714 people over the age of 65 who live alone. This figure has increased by an almost incomprehensible 42% in the last 10 years. The data also reveals that the Alicante area, the home to many a retiring ex-pat, is considerably higher than the national growth, which stands at 20%.

Not only that, it is also clear that the biggest majority of those living alone are female, with 50,382 women living alone, compared to 21,332 men.

It may also be surprising to hear that across the Alicante province, 24% of all households are made up of a person living alone, and 4 out of every 10 are over the age of 65.

There is another surprise when comparing the national statistics, as the number 1 place where the oldest people in the whole of Spain live is Rojales, where the average age is 52.38 years.

So it is perhaps no surprise that throughout the winter, news stories often dominate tragic situations where lonely individuals have died alone at home, sometimes laying unnoticed and unmissed for weeks at a time.

Statistically, the police in Torrevieja have reported that they respond to 2 incidents every month where an elderly person has died alone at home.

So through the season of good will, as the cold winter starts to grasp hold, we can all spare a thought for those who may be alone, for one day it may be us and a simple smile of acknowledgement, or a knock to the door to say hello, may all be what´s needed to hold a hand out to our neighbours so they know that somebody is there.

If you are at home alone, there is a whole world outside your door. Perhaps not a world you feel brave enough to face, but one that is there to offer you assistance. There are countless support groups, charities, social networks and more, where you can find a step back into the world. The Samaritans and Age Concern are just two of the long established groups who have helped countless people over the years. You don´t have to be alone, unless that is your choice.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42074/

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