Calls to SeniorLine Doubled in 2020
SeniorLine is Ireland’s national listening service for older people. Established in 1998, the service received 18,000 calls last year from older people throughout Ireland.
SeniorLine is open every day of the year from 10am to 10pm, Freefone 1800 80 45 91.
Many callers are lonely or isolated. Serious issues include elder abuse, suicide ideation, bereavement, anxiety, depression and family conflict.
SeniorLine’s 180 volunteers are trained to respond with empathy, support callers to look at their options and can signpost them to other helpful services.
Since Covid-19 many older people who would not have defined themselves by age felt they were negatively stereotyped as one vulnerable group, and reacted with indignation to this label. ‘I did not recognise myself in that description’ was one of the most common comments to SeniorLine.
In the early days of Covid, SeniorLine provided daily updates for callers regarding staying safe, community services, and how best to manage their emotional and mental health.
SeniorLine has been invited by the HSE to join their Vaccine Community Network, delegated to provide accurate information on current vaccine development.
Many callers describe SeniorLine as their lifeline and phone regularly or daily for contact and conversation. Others are supported during times of crisis.
The peer-to-peer aspect of the service – older people supporting older people - is a vital part of the service and has been particularly valuable in Covid-19.
If your organisation would like on- or off-line information on SeniorLine, please contact Anne Dempsey, Communications Manager, 087-7450721 firstname.lastname@example.org