Thursday 23 October 2014

A sympathetic ear for those in need

Emma Jane Hade

Published 15/04/2014 | 02:30

Anne Dempsey

"It can be tough, but at least you feel you are part of a solution," said one volunteer from the Senior Helpline service.

Anne Dempsey (pictured) is a spokesperson for Third Age, and has been regularly volunteering with their Senior Helpline service for eight years.

She is part of a team of dedicated volunteers who donate their time to listen to their elderly peers who are in need of a friendly voice or a sympathetic ear.

"We are a listening service, our aim is to connect with callers and to give them time to say whatever they need to say to us," she explained.

"We have a number of people who phone us very constantly, as they haven't got huge worries or crisis.

"But they have very few people in their lives, and very little social contact.

"So it's lovely that we can be there to be friendly, welcoming and warm to them."

She said that many of the calls they receive come from vulnerable elderly expressing their inner most thoughts and concerns over financial worries or loneliness.

Despite the emotionally toiling nature of the job, Ms Dempsey said that it can be rewarding as you feel that you may be able to offer "a solution".

Irish Independent

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