Childline for older people helps 10,000 lonely callers a week
11th October 2017
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Silver Line is a free, 24-hour, 365-day-a-year service. It has helped older people all over the UK with advice about local organisations and social activities they can join.
The service, which was launched in 2013 by TV presenter Esther Rantzen, now helps 10,000 people every week.
The figures show that in August it was the busiest month for the helpline as it received 45,000 calls. This was an increase of 1,200 calls for the same month the previous year.
Silver Line has been called a childline for older people as those with mobility issues who need walk in baths and who struggle to get out of their own home to socialise are offered support and friendship.
Silver Line to introduce mental health advisers
In the coming weeks it has been revealed that Silver Line will be introducing a team of specialist mental health advisers.
This move will help older people who are suffering from anxiety and loneliness. As many as 68% of people call because they feel lonely or isolated. The statistics also shows that 90% of callers live alone whilst 54% say they have no one else to speak to.
Now older people who have said they suffer from specific mental health issues and regular callers that are recognised by the call system will be passed through to the new team of specialist mental health advisors.
The new charity has also revealed that it now takes two-thirds of its calls either overnight or at the weekends. Speaking to the Guardian, Sophie Andrews, chief executive of Silver Line, says, “We’re filling a gap.
“People don’t call the Samaritans – they’re fearful of blocking the line, thinking ‘my needs aren’t bad enough’.”
The charity has lots of other programmes to help older people and these include weekly befriending phone calls, fortnightly pen pal letters or group calls. These are made by around 3,000 trained volunteers, who work from home through a virtual call centre.