Supporting older people struggling with loneliness

15 February 2021

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Since 2013 The Silver Line has been providing a helpline for older people struggling with loneliness and isolation across the UK.

It does this primarily through a free and confidential helpline, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When there is nowhere else for older people to turn– any time of the day or night – The Silver Line is there to offer friendship and support.

The Silver Line was set up to:

  • Offer information, friendship, and advice
  • Link callers to local groups and services
  • Protect and support older people who are suffering abuse and neglect

Each year the charity answers about 280,000 calls, many from older people who have no one else to speak to.

Thanks to the amazing support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery The Silver Line continues to work hard, day and night, to help lonely and isolated older people. Over the last 12 months the helpline has been more important than ever.

The alarming increase in loneliness and isolation suffered by older people, recently heightened by the Covid-19 crisis, is damaging to mental and physical health. Chronic loneliness can cause serious harm and is associated with a greater risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, depression, and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

The charity’s frontline staff say that many of the older people they support are reporting feelings of anxiety and depression. During 2020 the Silver Line:

  • Quickly established a fully functioning remote helpline, while still delivering the service 24/7
  • Trained 75 volunteers to deliver shifts on the helpline
  • Supported thousands of older people who had had their support structures reduced or removed entirely

While the first few months of 2021 will continue to be challenging, The Silver Line will continue to deliver services, reaching isolated and lonely older people across the UK.

Over £2.2 million has been raised for The Silver Line thanks to players since 2016.