Vulnerability and social isolation

Project Sponsors

DIAL-OPnoun_197967 (Dundee Information and Advice Line for Older People) is a confidential helpline service, provided by local volunteers, for older people in Dundee and their carers. The helpline – 01382 305757 – is open Monday to Friday 10-1pm with an answering machine covering out with these hours.

The enquiries that come through the helpline relate to a broad variety of issues – callers may want to find out about social activities or lunch clubs in their area, share their concerns about feeling lonely, ask about what help and support they are entitled to, get energy advice, and transport to name just a few.

Ultimately, DIAL-OP aims to enable callers to make their own decisions and to maintain as independent a lifestyle as possible, increasing their well-being and creating social networks within their community.

Background scenario

Jack is an 86-year old gentleman living in Dundee. He lives alone following the passing of his wife 1 year ago. Although his health conditions are well managed with a number of medications, he is frail and rarely leaves the house. Throughout the year, he is required to attend a variety of appointments with healthcare professionals to help him manage these health conditions. During these appointments his prescriptions are often amended and Jack finds this quite confusing at times.

Getting to and from the hospital or health centre is also difficult – he isn’t up to date with transport services and his only son lives in Edinburgh with his young children so is often too busy to help out. As a result, he often feels lonely and depressed. He no longer feels connected to his community. He lacks confidence using the phone to find out about his appointments, medications and local services because he is hard of hearing and although he has a laptop, he isn’t very confident about navigating the Internet.

The challenge

How might we help Jack to re-engage with the wider community and remove some of the barriers to healthcare he has experienced?

Image attribution – Telephone by Becky on the Noun Project – used under a Creative Commons licence,