Calls to 70,000 elderly people to give them help and supportHow are the city’s elderly people feeling, given the Covid-19 pandemic? In an effort to answer this question before the year is out, the ‘Com està?’ (How are you?) project is under way and will go on until the end of March 2021. The initiative entails calls to 70,000 people between the ages of 70 and 84 who are not users of any municipal service which can gauge their emotional state, the aim being to detect possible loneliness or suffering and inform them of the support resources available.
The calls will be made to people with no previous link with municipal services and programmes, meaning the project will not include the 65,000 people over 70 who are already users of resources such as the telecare service, Vincles BCN and Radars.
This new initiative, which gauges the possible impact of the situation caused by Covid-19 in terms of feelings such as sadness, loneliness, pain or fear, forms part of the municipal care strategy for the city’s elderly and the population’s mental and emotional health. This strategy includes other projects implemented before and during the pandemic.
These include the new suicide prevention phoneline, the creation of emotional support and mourning support groups, the municipal struggle against loneliness and the musical and visual support projects at four municipal homes for the elderly. New measures such as these are an addition to resources like the telecare service and the Home Assistance Service (SAD), which cater for record numbers of people year after year.
Once the person confirms they’d like to receive the call, it will be made by professionals who will have received specific training. The format will be a personal conversation to gauge how they are and how they’re feeling, as well as provide information on specific services for emotional support, active ageing and company. For instance:
- The Radars prevention and community action network.
- The Vincles BCN service, which combats unwanted loneliness and social isolation among elderly people through new technologies and now has nearly three thousand users.
- The 58 spaces and centres for the elderly, which continue to programme activities with a virtual or open-air format, such as dance, gymnastics and painting. These facilities also provide emotional support to combat loneliness and organise training in the new technologies to combat the digital divide.
- Specific information on social services centres.
- The support programme for elderly people living in homes and housing with services such as ‘En bici sense edat’, which offers a tricycle ride and currently involves over a hundred young volunteers and 800 senior citizens.