For several decades now Dartmouth Caring has been keeping in touch with the elderly and isolated, usually face to face and also by telephone. In the last year the Charity made about 40 calls every week to help reduce the risk of loneliness and isolation.
Now the Charity finds that with staff having to work remotely and most clients self-isolating or being shielded this is the only means of contact. Calls to clients have sky rocketed by over 600% from 40 to 270 clients weekly receiving calls about their health, their needs, shopping, meals on wheels, etc. and just for a chat!
The volunteers taking part in this are also finding that being able to help in this way means they can self-isolate and be useful, bringing a benefit to them too!
Sarah Farnsworth, Deputy Manager at Dartmouth Caring, said
“I have always appreciated the benefit this service could offer but the sound of clients’ voices when you call and the increased feeling of connection the call brings to them, is especially welcomed in these troubling times. Many are really cut off right now and anything we can do to help their emotional wellbeing we will do.”
Age UK research showed that the telephone befriending service gave older clients a reason to live and made them feel they were valued members of society.