By Tara Rippin • 22 December 2020 • 15:03
‘This Christmas the best gift is talking’ is the slogan of a campaign launched by Malaga City Council to tackle loneliness among the elderly over the festive period.
THE local authority is reinforcing its dedicated Loneliness Telephone Line 900 923 092, along with an awareness campaign and moving video on social networks.
The telephone support line was launched in 2018 as part of the province’s Plan Against Loneliness of the Elderly.
According to a Madeca Foundation study, over 65-year-olds accounted for 17.24 per cent of the total population of the province of Malaga in 2019.
Councillor for Citizenship and Depopulation Care, Natacha Rivas, revealed that already this year, 56,000 telephone calls have been made to the loneliness helpline.
More than 36,000 of these were made during State of Alarm.
“The calls are from elderly people who feel lonely and particularly in the months of confinement when the feeling of loneliness was accentuated.
“For this reason, this line was reinforced with a team of 100 people with the collaboration of volunteers belonging to various social entities across the province,” said Rivas, adding: “Most of the callers ask for emotional support or someone to talk to, and even during confinement this service served to offer help to meet their daily needs.”
The majority of callers are women aged between 85 and 95 and are usually widowed or have physical or mental difficulties.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
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