Why people phone us

Many Seniorline callers have few people to talk to, and can receive comfort knowing they can phone Seniorline when they need to. Having an opportunity to discuss a problem or a worry can help a caller clarify the situation for themselves. They can gain a new perspective on the situation, identify a new source of support and may see a way forward hitherto denied.

Loneliness continues to be the largest single issue on the help line – loneliness either expressed or implied. The cause of the loneliness may be geographic or social isolation, bereavement, illness, shyness, family emigration or family difficulties. Callers may also be worried about their health, home security, or have a range of personal problems. 

Since the economic downturn, calls involving financial worries have increased in volume. Such worries include concerns over managing on pension, fears of losing medical card, cutbacks to community services such as home helps, concern about security of investments, and anxiety about the economic difficulties being experienced by adult children.

Calls expressing sadness after bereavement remain a constant on the help line, and can include recent bereavements and more long-term loss.

Calls reporting elder abuse have increased. More females than males report elder abuse. Elder abuse can be: physical, emotional, financial, or linked to neglect. Elder abuse calls reporting emotional, verbal or financial abuse figure most often on the help line, with physical abuse featuring in a smaller proportion of calls. Bullying and control is often a factor in elder abuse, and callers may need ongoing support if living in these situations.