Over 110 people a month have contacted Senior Help Line’s call centres in Dundalk and Drogheda over the last quarter of 2012, according to statistics compiled by the two call centres.
Loneliness, lack of social contact and isolation are the number one reasons listed as the reason older people have contacted the help line.
On average over one in four calls concerned issues around loneliness and calls concerning health are about one in five, as are calls concerning family issues.
The Senior Help Line provides a confidential listening service for older people by trained older volunteers for the price of a local call anywhere in Ireland.
“Many of our callers are living alone and some can go days without contact from other people,” said Mary McNally, founder and CEO of the Senior Help Line.
“That kind of isolation can be terribly cruel and can have a detrimental effect on a person’s wellbeing. “Senior Help Line can provide some contact for older people, giving them a person to talk to.
Mary said that health has emerged as a significant issue for people.
“Older people are more prone to illness and they have concerns about health issues.
“Although we would never seek to give advice on health matters, the very act of talking to someone can help ease the anxiety for callers.
“Calls about family issues concerning finances, conflict and even alcohol have also been raised.
While it is often perceived that men are slower to open up, the experience for the Senior Helpline team has been different as 47 per cent of callers to Louth are male.
“We urge any older person who is worried about issues concerning health, family, loneliness or any other matter to call us on 1850 440 444”.