independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Over 110 a month contacting helpline

senior citizens make use of service

OVER 110 people a month make contact with the Senior Help Line's call centres in Dundalk and Drogheda, the Argus has learned.

Statistics compiled by the two call centres in Louth also show that loneliness, lack of social contact and isolation are the number one reasons why older people have contacted the Senior Help Line.

On average over one in four calls concerned issues around loneliness, with around one in five old people concerned about their health and family issues making contact.

While it is often perceived that men are slower to open up, the statistics show 47% of callers to County Louth are male.

Senior Help Line provides a confidential listening service for older people by trained older volunteers for the price of a local call anywhere in Ireland.

'The purpose of the service is for older people to receive an empathic response on a variety of issues. The service is confidential, however, Senior Help Line have identified particular trends in the calls that they received in the final quarter of last year,' said Mary McNally, Senior Help Line founder and CEO. She said the service has also seen an increase over the year in the volume of calls it has received as older people seek an outlet for the worries they face.

'Family issues concerning finances, conflict and even alcohol have been raised,' she says. Whatever the reason, it is important that people have an outlet to talk to people when they need it.

"We urge any older person who is worried about issues concerning health, family, loneliness or any other matter to call us on 1850 440 444," added Mary. Nally.

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