10:00AM, Saturday 21 March 2020
old hand phone calll
A set of special phone lines for the elderly has been set up to help combat fear and isolation as a result of COVID-19.
Age Concern Sough and Berkshire East (ACSBEC) now has four phone lines which will go live ‘on the very day’ the Government officially recommend self-isolation for people over the age of 70.
The phone service, called ‘Hear for You’, will be open from 10am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday. The lines will be manned by the experienced Age Concern team, who are all trained and DBS-checked.
The phone service will be ‘a real life saver’ for some people, said Tereena Davies, chief executive of ACSBEC.
She predicts that thousands of people will use the line, which is ‘ready to roll’ and could be up and running as early as this coming weekend, if the Government makes an official recommendation by then.
“Though I totally support the Government’s advice, which is absolutely the right thing to do, I don’t think anyone has thought through the full impact on the elderly, emotionally or practically,” said Ms Davies.
“Elderly people are extremely frightened at the moment and there’s a lot of scaremongering about, so we want to be there for them practically and emotionally.”
“The advice we would give to the elderly is to ensure you move every half an hour, to keep strong, and to remember that you are not alone in all of this. Please pick up the phone, as the whole community are willing you through this, and we just need you to remember that.”
The ‘Hear for You’ line, once in operation, can be accessed by calling any of the following three numbers: 01753 497877, 01753 497883, 01753 497888, and 01753 497889.
The charity expects a sharp drop in revenue at their retail outlets as a result of COVID-19. It does not receive any funding for this new service and Ms Davies is urging the public to support it with donations.
These can be made by post or on the charity’s website at www.ageconcernsabe.org.uk
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