Lodz supports the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic
A telephone ombudsman is available for senior residents
- April 15, 2020 21:30
- Aseniya Dimitrova
The coronavirus pandemic has put the elderly at higher risk than any other social group. Therefore, countries worldwide have urged seniors to stay at home and limit their social interactions completely at a very early stage of the outbreak.
This move, albeit aimed to protect their health, has caused additional problems, related to increased loneliness and hampered access to social services. The Polish city of Lodz wants to alleviate the issues caused by such inconveniences by providing specific telephone services for the elderly.
The figure of the senior ombudsman has been in existence in Lodz for several years. Now, it can also be reached over the phone at +48 42 638 47 94 on the following days: Monday - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Tuesday - 9:00 am 17:00, Thursdays - 8:00 - 12:00.
The spokesperson for seniors has several main tasks, including:
- monitoring, diagnosing social problems and the needs of seniors;
- initiating and participating in the development of projects, strategies and programs and monitoring their implementation;
- addressing discriminatory behaviour;
- supporting seniors in contacting public institutions;
- intervening in important matters within the competence of the City of Łódź;
- cooperating with institutions and non-governmental organizations working for seniors;
- changing the way of thinking about old age;
- providing information on government programs for seniors;
- promoting senior issues in the media.
Connecting seniors with other seniors
Apart from a figure responsible for protecting the rights and promoting the interests of seniors, they often need something much simpler: a friendly conversation with someone sharing their problems. Here comes the role of the Kindness Telephone (Telefon Życzliwości).
On three numbers (739 903 452, 739 903 453 or 42 638 50 32), seniors can contact volunteers of their age and receive support, information or simply to chat. The line has been operating for five years now, but due to the restrictions related to Covid-19, the operators, also seniors, have switched to working from home.
As it turns out, these solutions prove useful for seniors. As Grażyna Jagodzka, coordinator of the Telephone Kindness explains, the coronavirus has increased their workload and what is more, calls arrive from all over Poland. They consult on all sort of issues – from family, health to court matters, even food deliveries.
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