Birmingham City Council’s Telecare Service is working with charity The Silver Line to offer a Reassurance Calls Service to older people who may feel lonely, isolated or vulnerable.
The Reassurance Calls Service will see a member of The Silver Line Friendship Team calling isolated older people once a week for a ten minute chat. The Silver Line is a national charity founded by Dame Esther Rantzen DBE which offers information, friendship and advice and gives older people the opportunity to chat and build friendships.
The Reassurance Calls Service is being offered initially on a trial basis to 100 people, but may be extended in the future.
Dorothy, 85, discovered The Silver Line after her husband died. She had been feeling very low and spent days at a time without seeing or talking to anyone.
I often used to have a little weep. It was the feeling of being abandoned. The Silver Line should be called the Silver Lifeline. It’s knowing that there is always somebody there who cares, someone to talk to who is always kind and understanding.
The pilot is the latest initiative from the Birmingham Telecare Service (BTS), which was established in 2012 with the aim of enabling up to 27,000 residents of the city with a wide-range of support needs to remain living independently in their own homes.
Jon Tomlinson, Joint Director of Commissioning at Birmingham City Council said:
Our telecare service has been a great success in making a difference to the lives of thousands of older people and vulnerable adults across the city. By working in partnership with national charity The Silver Line we hope to offer emotional support which will increase wellbeing and quality of life for people who are already benefitting from the reassurance of telecare.
Sophie Andrews, Chief Executive of The Silver Line commented:
We’ve been established for just over a year and we have already taken more than 325,000 calls at our helpline. We also offer friendship to more than 2000 of the most lonely and isolated older people by making weekly friendship calls to them. We hear so often how many vulnerable older people can go for days or weeks without having a proper chat with another human being. Working with the BTS we can reach many more people to offer support and friendship by phone when they have no one else to talk to.