“. . . I can't get out and am alone for days. . .”
Monday 15th September 2014 – 'I can't get out and am alone for days’ was the stark cry for help from one male caller to Senior Help Line this month. It was echoed in a number of ways from other callers in the first six months of 2014:
“. . . I feel very alone in the world. . .”
“. . . I'm behind with my rent, I've had no food today, I don't know where to turn and feel like ending it all . . .”
“. . . My house was broken into, and I'm very shaken up. . .”
“. . . My nieces and nephews are demanding their inheritance now. . .”
Over 3,000 people called the Senior Help Line service from County Dublin in the first six months of 2014. The numbers highlight the vulnerability and isolation felt by many older people, and the need and demand for the peer-to-peer telephone listening service.
The large volume of calls received since the start of the year points to the challenges that older people face.
The wide variety of concerns include the cost of living, cuts to services, instances of elder abuse and feelings of suicide. The most common factor among callers was a sense of isolation and loneliness. For many people, Senior Help Line is their only point of contact, providing help and support for those in real need.
The changing nature of relationships was also a key concern – particularly in families. For some, family had begun to distance themselves as older people were seen as an inconvenience. In other cases, family members placed unreasonable demands, often looking for money, or an excessive babysitting service from grandparents.
Senior Help Line provides a listening service for older people for the price of a local call anywhere in Ireland. The peer-to-peer service helps create empathy for the caller on the issues that they face and can help them to open up and discuss their problems more easily.
Senior Help Line is managed by Third Age. Aine Brady, Third Age CEO says:
“People call us for many reasons. Whatever the reason, it is important that they have an outlet to talk to other people when they need it. Many older people find themselves alone and isolated. With no one to share a burden or a moment of laughter. We invite any older person who is worried about issues concerning health, family, loneliness or any other matter to call us on 1850 440 444”
Senior Help Line is available, for the price of a local call, 365 days a year from 10am -10pm. Call 1850 440 444, all calls are handled in strict confidence.
If you would like more information about Senior Helpline log onto www.thirdageireland.ie
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