Loneliness is becoming an epidemic. 46% of Americans say they “sometimes or always feel alone.” Older adults are suffering a disproportionate amount of loneliness during the COVID crisis, with many going days without talking to anyone. They are struggling to find hope as visits, congregate meals and group activities have been suspended. Family gatherings, trips to the grocery store and social meetings are avoided for safety’s sake.
To provide hope, encouragement and connection to these older adults, the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, announce the TN Hope Line, a call line that offers supportive active listening to lonely older adults 60+ years of age.
Callers who express specific needs such as food and basic supplies, are connected with people and services available to help in their area. The hope is to increase the caller’s connection to a local supportive community.
“As many as half a million older adults may go an entire week without seeing or talking to anyone. They need encouragement and a kind listening ear, especially during these times of grief, loneliness, hardship and isolation,” said Dave Worland, Executive Director of The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
The TN Hope Line is staffed with trained volunteers who are eager to serve their neighbors. People helping people. When faith communities, nonprofits and government work together, the citizens of Tennessee benefit.