If you’re an older adult, living alone, you can imagine the stress that comes with the coronavirus pandemic, knowing you’re at higher risk. Knowing you’re isolated. And the toll that takes day after day.

That’s why Sarah Bentley started the Silver Line.

It’s a toll-free phone line seniors can call for emotional and spiritual support—and a connection to practical support as well.

The Salvation Army mailed a card with an invitation to call to the 3,000 seniors in the western U.S. who live in one of The Salvation Army’s Silvercrest senior residences. And the phone has been ringing ever since.

Sarah is The Salvation Army’s Director of Officer Resources and Leadership Development—and is currently focused on assisting in the Silvercrest operation and ministry. 

It’s important, she said, that these older adults know they’re not alone.

She’s on the show to share how she’s helping in the midst of COVID-19 and what she is seeing from the frontlines of service.

Show highlights include:

  • Adapting to change: Reaching out to managers on how to help
  • Addressing specific needs: Managers created list of items for seniors
  • Loneliness of seniors: Created “Silver Line”
  • What Silver Line addresses: Seniors call with requests or simply just to chat
  • Handling personal emotional stress: Dealt with personal death in family made, Jesus helped change perspective
  • Personal care: Exercising, being able to get outside and walk
  • Helping people who are afraid: Assures people that they will get through this and God will not leave their side
  • Duration of Silver Line: As long as they are still getting calls
  • Doing good example: Gave orchids to woman who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer  

Good words from Sarah Bentley in this show:

“Since the line has gone live, we’ve had many, many calls from residents…they’ve been heartwarming and they’ve been heartbreaking.”

“People just want connection. They want to hear a human voice.”

“The Silvercrest manager that we have in this territory and the service coordinators are unbelievably exceptional. They are so caring and loving and do everything they possibly can to help all of their residents.”

“‘We’re all going to get through this.’ I know we will because I have a faith and hope in God that assures us that he’s never going to leave us. He’s never going to forsake and that he’s always with us and we will get through this together.”

Additional resources:

Download this episode wherever you get your podcasts. Find show notes for this episode and more at caringmagazine.org/podcast.  

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