Bucharest, 21 august 2018 – The Elderly Phone Line, the first free and confidential telephone line dedicated to people aged 65+, has registered a total of 25,000 calls from over 5,000 callers since its launch in 2015. The elderly telephone line is a project implemented by the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation and supported by the Vodafone Romania Foundation with a funding of over EUR 100,000 through the „Connecting for Good” program.
Most of the 5,000 callers are from Bucharest (45%), followed by rural and small town callers 27% and by city callers (26%). Almost 50% of the recipients of the phone service live alone and most of them are aged between 70 and 80 (27%). Out of the total number of seniors who have called the Elderly Telephone line, 47% asked for various information, 21% were interested in receiving home care services and 15% needed emotional support and socialization. The main factors limiting the access of elderly people to information are isolation, social discrimination, the increasing migration of young families and the difficulties elderly face in handling modern means of communication. At present, almost 470 people are constant users of the Elderly Telephone redialing service, whenever they need someone to talk to.
Since the launch of the telephone line, the elderly in Romania have benefited from 5,500 hours of support, information and social counseling. Princess Margareta Foundation’s social assistance workers provide the elderly with over-the-phone practical advice, socializing support and with information about the public institutions the elderly should turn to for solving their problems.
Romania ranks second in European statistics in terms of the fast aging rate of the population, with old people accounting for 17% of the total Romanian population. In addition to their financial constraints and their health problems, the elderly are facing two major challenges: the limited access to information and the loneliness. Studies conducted by the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation show that about 1.5 million elderly people in Romania suffer from loneliness. The number of lonely women is significantly higher than that of men, and the urban elderly are the most affected by loneliness. Thanks to the elderly telephone line, old people in Romania have now the chance to ask for emotional support, information, practical advice and social counseling.
The Elderly Phone (0800 460 001) can be called free of charge, from Monday to Friday, between 08:00 – 20:00, and on Saturday, between 08:00 and 16:00. The line can also be accessed to report abuses and any difficult situations the elderly might go through at some point. The service was declared the best Social Assistance Project in Romania and won the Most Original Project Prize at the Civil Society Gala.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the Vodafone Romania SA’s business. During its 20 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,104 programs run by 706 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had a total of 2.7 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people and physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has invested over 28 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at www.Fundația-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.Fundația-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/Fundațiavodafone.
Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation was founded in 1990 by Her Majesty Margarita, the Custodian of the Romanian Crown, and her father, King Michael. Over its 28 years of activity, the Foundation has developed many sustainable projects in the field of education, community development, civil society, health and culture, that have all contributed to the spiritual and social revival of Romania. The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation is today an elite non-governmental organization that supports children, young people and the elderly through sustainable interventions, based on the sharing of experience and values between generations. For more details about the Foundation, please visit www.telefonulvarstnicului.ro, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/TelefonulVarstnicului.