Over 79,000 calls, including those related to pension, COVID-19 support and abuse, have been received by the national helpline for the elderly since October last year, according to official data.
However, out of the total 5,07,493 calls received by the helpline since October 1 last year, 4,28,442 have been ‘non serviceable calls’, constituting 84% of the total calls received on the helpline.
The non-serviceable calls include call drops, nuisance calls, calls for services for non-elderly, calls with out of scope requests and calls outside office hours.
As many as 79,051 serviceable calls have been received by the helpline over the period on issues related to pension (22,430 calls), COVID-19 support (6,406), abuse (4,748), old age homes (2040), emotional support (1,856) and maintenance (1,326), according to official data.
More calls on the toll-free number 14567 have been received from men (44,348) than women (18,363).
The helpline was launched to address the issues of the elderly, especially in view of the pandemic.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has started State-wise call centres in 28 States and UTs under the Elderline project. The helpline also helps connect people to old age homes, caregivers, day care centres, hospitals and doctors, and elder care products. These calls are generally made by callers who need these details looking for specific elder care services.
About 5,959 calls led to field interventions like rescue of a homeless elderly and care for an abused elderly.
Among States/UTs, the highest number of calls have been received from Uttar Pradesh at 96,764 followed by Maharashtra at 40,239, Rajasthan at 30,219 calls, Karnataka at 29,953 and Madhya Pradesh at 26,689 and Uttarakhand at 23,685.
A senior official said the helpline is still picking up in many States and the volume of calls is expected to increase soon.
The official said in case of mental support, the calls are connected to mental health professionals with experience in geriatric therapy and counselling. Also, the kind of calls received can help authorities ascertain the areas to focus upon.
On the occasion of International Day for Older Persons, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had dedicated Elderline to the nation and lauded the help extended by it to senior citizens.