Online helpline for the elderly

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Senior citizens
New Delhi, Jun 9: To assist the elderly and their family members to find solutions to various concerns and problems of old age, a new helpline has been introduced by non governmental organisation Agewell Foundation.

The NGO says it has been running a phone helpline for the past 15 years and with more people using the Internet, it has now ventured into the online space.

"When we had started the first ever phone helpline 15 years ago, most of the callers were old people in the age group of 60 to 67 years. They were more vocal about their concerns and problems," says Himanshu Rath, founder Chairman of Agewell Foundation.

Rath says over the years, the age profile of callers has gone through a sea change and "old people from the age group of 70-80 years also contact for seeking solutions of their respective problems quite regularly."

"We receive queries from all over the world especially from the United States and Canada where two or three generations of people live under one roof. Often times it is a case of finding a person to talk to and unburden themselves of various things. Our volunteers are trained to just listen and look for the common triggers of the old," says Rath.

He points out the NGO receives many queries over email by young people who are curious about various issues concerning old age.

"They are more interested in understanding the needs of older people and how to deal with them," Rath says. Analysis of Helpline records show that while previously younger among the old i.e in the age group of 60- 67 years were eager to find solutions now even those in the age group of 67 plus seek assistance.

"In addition, the younger people are also equally agitated in dealing with old people but at the same time are eager to find solutions and methodologies for a peaceful co-existence," Rath says. 

PTI

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