FREDERICTON -- New Brunswick's families minister is asking residents to reach out to people who may be alone for the holidays.

Stephen Horsman says people should be on the lookout for signs of social isolation.

He says New Brunswickers could invite people to their home for Christmas dinner, or just check in on them.

Horsman says people who can't visit relatives can get in touch through a phone call or video chat.

He suggests New Brunswickers visit family members living alone or in care facilities -- and to "maybe pack along an extra flower or gift you can give to another resident you think could use some company."

He says if someone says they are lonely, "make a point of helping."

"During the festive season, let us make sure everyone has someone to share the holidays with," said Horsman, the minister of families and children.

People who feel lonely can look for programs at their community centre, join book clubs and other social groups or volunteer for a charity, he says, adding they should let people know they want to spend time with them.