Senior Line records 140% increase in calls

A new cohort – grandparents – are not used to being alone, says phone service manager

The Senior Line service operates daily from 8am to midnight. Its Freefone number is 1800 80 45 91. File photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Senior Line service operates daily from 8am to midnight. Its Freefone number is 1800 80 45 91. File photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

 

There has been a 140 per cent rise in calls to a telephone support service for older people amid increased isolation and anxiety due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many people are not used to being isolated and are struggling with the new reality of day to day life,” said Anne Dempsey, communications manager with Senior Line, the national peer-to-peer telephone service

“What we are noticing as well is that we have a whole new cohort of people – grandparents who aren’t used to be on their own. They are in shock and are calling in large numbers.”

The service operates daily from 8am to midnight. Ms Dempsey said the helpline is providing essential comfort, support, information and advice for older people confined to home.

Coronavirus guidance

Senior Line has established a protocol providing twice-daily internal updates. Any caller, concerned about coronavirus, will receive the most up-to-date guidance.

“As well as providing relevant information and answering specific questions – within HSE health guidelines – Senior Line is giving time to each caller, time to listen to fears and worries, time to keep company and assure them they can call again as needed. This is a vital and cherished part of the service in these days.”

Senior Line is a programme of the not-for-profit agency Third Age. Senior Line’s Freefone number is 1800 80 45 91.