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Friendship line offers seniors a caring ear

Friendship is just a phone call away for Americans age 60 and over and for adults living with disabilities.

The Friendship Line is offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by the nonprofit Institute on Aging at 800/971-0016. It is both a crisis intervention hotline and a “warmline” for nonurgent calls.

The confidential service offers active suicide intervention, emotional support, elder abuse prevention and counseling, grief support, and information and referrals for isolated older adults. 

The Friendship Line also offers outreach, calling on those who suffer from depression, loneliness, isolation, anxiousness, or who may be contemplating suicide. The goal of these well-being checks is to prevent suicide by improving the quality of life and connectedness of isolated older adults.

The service, founded by Patrick Arbore, director of the Institute on Aging’s Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention, is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology. Arbore began taking calls in 1973, and today, a staff of trained volunteers makes and receives 10,000 calls per month.

“We provide a lifeline whenever it’s needed,” Arbore says. Learn more at

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