Age UK’s Advice Line is a free and confidential phone service providing information and advice on a range of different issues to help older people and their family, friends and carers.
Age UK is using National Emergencies Trust (NET) Coronavirus Appeal funding to help support its national Advice Line and Telephone Friendship Services, as well as the services provided by Age Scotland, Age NI, Age Cymru and Age UK’s subsidiary charity The Silver Line Helpline.
Before the pandemic, the dedicated National Advice Line team took calls from older people needing advice on topics as diverse as claiming benefits to staying healthy. But following the coronavirus outbreak they saw a huge increase in calls from people who couldn’t access basics like food and medicine or who were feeling desperately isolated, lonely or anxious. A year on and older people are still struggling with the impact of the pandemic, with Age UK continuing to be a lifeline for those most in need. Funding from the NET has helped Age UK to keep its essential national services running and meet increasing demand from older people for vital support.
Age UK National Advice Line Operations Manager, Roger, said “We’ve never known a time like this before in our 22-year history. At the beginning of the pandemic demand for our Advice Line soared and callers were becoming increasingly desperate. The older people who needed our help were in more dire situations than ever. Callers were asking when they’d be able to see their family again, whether we could arrange a shopping delivery for them, or whether it is safe or not to collect their prescription. In some cases, sadly, calls were about whether someone can go and see a partner or a spouse who is in hospital dying, to say goodbye.” He continued “It’s still an extremely difficult time for older people and their families and demand for our Advice Line remains high. It breaks my heart to think that an older person might call us and not be able to get through because the Advice Line is so busy. Thanks to NET’s support this is much less likely.”
For information and advice visit www.ageuk.org.uk or call Age UK’s Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65, open every day from 8am-7pm.
Anyone looking for a cheerful chat can call The Silver Line’s free and confidential helpline, day or night, on 0800 470 80 90.