One in 10 over-65s in Burton are lonely every day - with many having no conversation with another human being for a week or more.
Loneliness is considered worse health-wise than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, with TV the main source of company for many elderly people, according to experts at Age UK.
As age expectancy increases, the problem of isolation at Christmas, the most family-orientated time of the year, was highlighted by Jane Ingram, head of community services for the charity in the town.
Jane Ingram said: "While most of us are enjoying the happiness that time spent with our family and friends will bring during the festive period, far too many people will spend Christmas and New Year alone.
"It is often due to bereavement or because the rest of the family lives far away, perhaps abroad.
"This time of year also brings back memories of those who are no longer with us and the friends that may have passed away during the course of the last year.
"The effect of long-term loneliness has been documented as being more harmful to health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, not to mention the impact on an older person's mental health. Just imagine spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week by yourself.
"Many people spend so much time alone that it becomes easier with time to just stay at home and not go out at all.
"Please be vigilant with your elderly neighbours, make sure that you make the effort to go and say hello, but also respect the fact that some people are happy in their own company and choose to spend this time of year by themselves.
"This is where Age UK Burton can help through our befriending service, contact the befriending co-ordinator Donna Cowell on 01283 510106, we can offer home visits, telephone befriending or group sessions."
Age UK currently holds group sessions at Elizabeth Court, in Brough Road, Burton, on Thursdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm and one at Dove Court, in Horninglow, on Tuesdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm and anyone is welcome to attend.
Across the country nearly half of the older people surveyed for Age UK – equating to almost 5.7 million people aged 65 and over – feel their days can be repetitive, with almost a quarter admitting that Christmas simply passes them by.
Based on the survey, the charity estimates that almost a million (873,000) people aged 65 and over don't see or hear from anyone for days on end over the festive period.
And at Christmas time, on days when older people do not see or hear from anyone, 55 per cent rely on the TV for companionship.
Burton business spreads some Christmas joy to Age UK
A kind-hearted team in Burton brought festive cheer to guests at the Age UK Christmas party
Working alongside the charity, employees at Palletforce's head office in Callister Way donated enough food items to fill 80 Christmas hampers.
Organised by the team of in-house employee champions, each pod of desks was provided with Palletforce carrier bags to fill up with goodies throughout November and December.
The food items made up the hampers, which were distributed at the Age UK Lunch Club Christmas Party, which was held at Burton Town Hall.
Kate Marsh, head of human resource services said: "Every Christmas the staff at Palletforce show their generosity for a worthy cause and this is no exception, and this year's charity initiative was launched to coincide with World Kindness Day in November.
"The idea this year was that each guest at the Age UK party would receive a hamper, which they could take home with them and enjoy over the festive period.
"As a group of employee champions, we decided to launch this year's charity initiative on World Kindness Day to try and encourage more people to get involved and remind them that a little kindness goes a long way."
A special hamper was presented to Gwen Foster, who was instrumental in setting up the original Age Concern and Lunch Club in 1987.
Jane Ingram, Age UK Burton's head of community services, said: "For the last 30 years Gwen has worked tirelessly in the community to help improve the lives of thousands of local people in Burton.
"Without her, Age UK Burton would not exist and many older residents would be worse off for it.
"The clients, staff and volunteers at Age UK were overwhelmed by this amazing act of kindness by Palletforce, which helped to end the party with a bang.
"We cannot thank them enough for their kindness and generosity, and we look forward to working with Palletforce again in 2018."