Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sophie Andrews - tackling the scourge of loneliness among the elderly one call at a time

Live Long and Master Aging - Episode 42

Loneliness is a silent epidemic affecting elderly populations. Social isolation shortens lives and exacerbates the onset of disease in millions of people, around the world. In the UK, The Silver Line, a free and confidential telephone hotline, was established in 2012 to offer information, friendship and advice to older people.  Founded by the British television presenter Esther Rantzen, the 24-hour service also offers help to those suffering abuse and neglect. The Silver Line is run by Sophie Andrews, who took on the role after serving as the national chairman for the suicide prevention line, Samaritans.  Billed as a ‘helpline hero,’ Sophie spoke about her work and life experiences at the 2017 TEDMED conference in La Quinta, California.  In this in-depth interview, recorded at the conference, she discusses the harrowing abuse she experienced as a child and how it led to a career of service, offering help to others.  Sophie also explains why she prefers to live for the moment, than dwell on her own longevity.