Oregon Toll-Free Phone Lines are Addressing Social Isolation, One Phone Call at a Time

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To address social isolation among rural elders of Oregon face, warmline and hotlines have been created with the help of regional nonprofits and local county funds. These toll-free phone lines include the Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line, the Senior Loneliness Line and the Oregon Senior Peer Outreach program. These lines have all been supportive in helping ease the risk of isolation among older adults that reside in rural communities in Oregon. These remote support programs offer weekly phone calls by a trained specialist who provides a free and confidential casual conversation.

These types of services have been proven to deliver results in addressing an essential part of the social determinates of health. As demonstrated in the Oregon Senior Peer Outreach Program’s report, older adults enrolled in weekly calls have lower scores on UCLA’s Loneliness Scale. This indicates that these older adults have a greater feeling of social connection and companionship in their lives

Brenda Luna Macedo