The Silver Line
The Silver Line (TSL) is a national 24 hour a day 365 day a year help, support and befriending line for older people. Launched in November 2013, TSL offers an extensive telephone and letter support service the journey with which begins with our 24 hour helpline which can be accessed by people on an “as and when” basis on top of any other on-going support. Callers are triaged by the helpline and appropriate referrals are made there and then, particularly if there is any possibility of abuse or there are any concerns regarding safeguarding. People who wish to receive regular telephone calls are then assessed and matched with trained volunteers for weekly conversations. While this process is taking place callers receive ‘keep in touch’ calls. TSL offers information, friendship and advice and, where appropriate, links callers to local groups and services. TSL complements other voluntary sector services for older people.
- 9 August 2018
- East of England
- Telecare, Voluntary Sector, Charity
- Local Alliances:
- Pan Essex Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
The Silver Line is a support and helpline service dedicated to improving the lives of older people. As such our service deals with older people who have, or are developing, dementia of all kinds or supporting those providing care to people with dementia. Our highly trained helpline staff are skilled at providing support to people with dementia over the phone and are 2000 volunteers who provide befriending calls on a weekly basis are in touch with their volunteer managers across the country who can provide help and reassurance to them should they be having any difficulty. TSL sees one of its strengths as its knowledge about and ability to signpost to local services such as local Alzheimer's Society branches which we do regularly. The Silver Line looks forward to local communities becoming more dementia friendly.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
The challenges we face delivering these outcomes for older people with dementia from an organisational perspective are appropriate training for staff and volunteers, ensuring that the values of TSL which include the acceptance and support of all older people are maintained and permeate the service on an on-going basis. Providing effective support for volunteers who are providing telephone befriending calls on a weekly basis. We are in conversation with the Alzheimer's Society about some more intense training for both staff and volunteers.
Training of paid staff and volunteers
The Silver Line will invest time in ensuring that members of staff are offered the Dementia Friends training and that Helpline staff and volunteers who have already trained as Dementia Friends are offered more in-depth training which is currently being developed in partnership with the Alzheimer's Society.