As many as 1.4 million elderly people in the Netherlands face loneliness. As many as 200,000 of these people are extremely lonely. That means that social contact is anything but a matter of course for this vulnerable group of people. They only see another person once a month. To support them, APG is entering into a partnership with the The (Dutch) National Foundation for the Elderly. APG is adopting Zilverlijn: A free telephone service for elderly senior citizens who indicate that they would like to receive one phone call a week from an enthusiastic volunteer. As well as the financial support, APG employees will also be making phone calls to lonely elderly people voluntarily. The affiliation with The National Foundation for the Elderly is the first project in a series of initiatives with which APG will make an extra effort for Dutch society in the years to come.
Holiday periods are especially difficult for elderly people. Care providers and volunteers spend these periods with their families, which means that some elderly people barely receive any visits. That's why we plan to start making calls in precisely this period. By taking action for Zilverljn APG is hoping to contribute to relieving the loneliness of this vulnerable group of elderly people.
Gerard van Olphen, chairman of the Board of APG Group: "Together with pension funds, APG builds on a sustainable financial future for millions of Dutch people. But a good pension alone is not enough for a for a contented old age. Human contact is at just as important. Viewed from that perspective, the partnership with the The National Foundation for the Elderly is a perfect fit for the social role that we as APG want to play."
Corina Gielbert, managing director of the The National Foundation for the Elderly: "The partnerships with socially committed parties like APG are extremely valuable to us. The fact that APG employees are willing to communicate voluntarily with elderly people who would like to be called through Zilverlijn is valuable and could be a life learning experience. We know from experience that pleasant and also frequently emotional phones are made on this basis."
Corina Gielbert (The National Foundation for the Elderly) and Gerard van Olphen (APG)
The National Foundation for the Elderly supports elderly people in the Netherlands with practical services and activities. Examples include beach outings, the BoodschappenPlusBus ('shopping-plus-bus'), OldStars walking football, Zilverlijn and Christmas dinners. All of the services and activities are intended to encourage social contact and self-reliance among elderly people in order to combat loneliness.