Telephone Advice for Older People

Free Telephone Advice for Older People

There are a number of voluntary organisations that offer telephone helplines for older people and their families to access information about a wide range of topics including housing, welfare benefits, health and welfare.

FirstStop Advice is one such organisation. It provides an independent, free telephone service for older people. The service is provided by EAC which is the Elderly Accommodation Counsel and it works in partnership with several other national and local organisations.

More information can be obtained at http://www.firststopcareadvice.org.uk/

Free telephone advice lines can provide a much needed route for the elderly to obtain information particularly if they have mobility problems or difficulty accessing internet services. Telephone support is a good start but ultimately it is face to face discussions with professionals who have the necessary expertise that makes the real difference.

A recent discussion with an elderly person who was concerned about the behaviour of a neighbour highlighted the difficulties that many older people experience in using telephone advice and support services. He made several telephone calls to different agencies including the Police, local council and some voluntary groups and although all were sympathetic and offered generic advice over the ‘phone, he was still left unsure about how to deal with his problems.
His comment was ” I need to see someone and get advice, face to face.”

We visited him at home and discussed his concerns. As a result of his direct interaction with someone he could engage with directly in a relaxed, familiar environment, he was able to talk about what was really worrying him. He disclosed information he didn’t feel able to communicate over the telephone and consequently, we were able to find solutions to his problems.

This is an issue we have discussed before in earlier blogs Telephone advice lines are very useful but ultimately what many people need is face to face assistance. Many professionals like us offer free initial consultation or services at a reduced rate for older people. It’s worth asking.