Around 20 thousand people attended the ninth edition The Passion play in Dordrecht on Thursday evening. The modern retelling of the final hours of Jesus' life happened without incident. The police only arrested one man, for flying a drone above the crowd, RTL Nieuws and NU.nl report.
A number of families in Ede, along with volunteer organization Malkander, offered 24 lonely people a spot at their Christmas dinner table on Tuesday. The goal was to make sure that people who are usually alone on Christmas could still have a fun day, NOS reports.
This initiative was started by Daan Overeem and his wife Marilu Kessele last year. "There are all sorts of initiatives just before Christmas, but on the days itself it's quiet. We just want people who feel lonely to have a great day, because the Christmas days can be most painful", Overeem said to NOS.
Most Dutch celebrate Christmas at home with friends and family, but a quarter of are lonely over the holidays, according to a survey among 3,342 people by the Salvation Army, AD reports.
The average senior citizen, 55 years old or older, currently in the Netherlands is less lonely than his or her peers were 20 years ago. They have better social contacts, more often have a partner and their networks are often larger and more diverse, according to a study by social and cultural planning office SCP, NU.nl reports.
Over 700 thousand elderly people in the Netherlands are sometimes lonely, according to a report by the Ministry of Public Health. That number is expected to increase to 1.1 million by 2030. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge presented a set of measures to combat loneliness among the elderly, and the government is investing 26 million euros into the plan over the coming years, RTL Nieuws reports.
More than a million people in the Netherlands feel very lonely. A third of Dutch feel moderately lonely, the Telegraaf reported on Thursday - the start of the Week Against Loneliness. From Thursday until October 1st, a large number of civil society organizations are organizing events to show how to combat loneliness, according to the newspaper.
Almost half of Amsterdam adults feel lonely to a greater or lesser extent, according to a study by municipal heath service GGD. That comes down to 300 thousand lonely people in the Dutch capital, of which 80 thousand of whom feel "severely lonely". The other 220 thousand say they are "moderately lonely."
Loneliness is a major issue in the Netherlands, especially among women between the ages of 30 and 60 years. This is according to annual figures of Sensoor, the 24 hour anonymous helpline for people who need someone to talk to.
Three quarters of doctors feel that elderly home care is insufficient, with half of all nurses agreeing, a survey published by broadcaster NOS revealed. The doctors and nurses see more and more single elderly people with poor nutrition, and say they get too little professional attention and home care.