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.