Global Stories

Loneliness Can Kill

In 2011 the UK  woman who had previously founded a Children’s Helpline found that after losing her husband she was desperately lonely and isolated. She joined with other social innovators to create a Helpline for older people called Silver Line. It would be a 24/7 source of comfort and support, staffed by volunteers, for those in need of a good chat, thoughtful advice, or help finding services. Many seniors suffer from isolation as if it were a physical disease with comparable kinds of consequences. One estimate is that the experience of loneliness is like smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The Silver Line, a great success for the elderly in the UK, recently received its one millionth call.

By 2031 roughly one third of Nova Scotians will be over the age of 65.

All Conversations Loneliness Can Kill

3 replies, 3 voices Last updated by  Adrienne McCurdy 3 years ago
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  • Adrienne McCurdy @adriennemccurdy

    I like that we can comment here… Is there a way to reference these News posts in conversations? That would be a nice feature!

  • Tony Lamport @tonylamport

    Well asked Professor Chender. To the best of my knowledge there are no such initiatives in Nova Scotia. And more’s the pity. But I think there is a need emerging if not already with us. I think with some clever volunteer programming we could create a powerful system of voice linkages among volunteers that would drastically reduce the cost of such a project, particularly with the help of the telephone companies and ISP’s.

  • Michael Chender @mchender

    Are there any such initiatives underway in NS?

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