Having launched Childline back in 1986, Esther Rantzen today launched a free 24-hour confidential helpline for older people called The Silver Line.
Working in a very similar way to Childline, the aim of The Silver Line service is to help elderly people by giving them someone to talk to 24 hours a day.
The Silver Line service has received a £5 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, enabling to open its phone lines just before Christmas, which can be the loneliest time of the year for many elderly people.
Trials of The Silver Line service have been carried out the North East and North West as well as Jersey with great success. Ella Brittain said she felt “very comforted” when she contacted the service after the death of her husband. Like many older people, Ella felt awkward discussing her feelings with her children, but felt she “could tell a phone line”.
Loneliness affects many elderly people –almost half over people aged over 60 live on their own. Very often family have moved away, partners and friends may have died and been alone can be a “terrible shock” according to Esther Rantzen. She herself has expressed how loneliness affected her after the death of her husband in 2011.
She adds, “I hope and believe that The Silver Line could become a lifeline to all those older people who have contributed so much throughout their lives but now feel so isolated and alone.”
Here at TeleCare24 we talk to many of our clients who indeed suffer from loneliness. Many contact us to order a careline alarm, just so they can contact someone when they need immediate help. We certainly wish Esther and her team all the best for The Silver Line service. It will no doubt bring a touch of comfort to many elderly people around the UK.
If anyone wants to contact The Silver Line helpline for support or advice, then they can contact them 24 hours a day for FREE on 0800 4 70 80 90. There’s also some useful information on The Silver Line website – thesilverline.org.uk.