The Helsinki Helpline, launched during the coronavirus period to support older residents, will end its operations as planned on 31 August 2020, which will be the last day the telephone service is available.
Help with grocery shopping was available through Helsinki Helpline until the end of June, and discussion support throughout July and August. The need for the service has been low throughout the summer, declining further during August.
The coronavirus situation and the government recommendations do not currently give reason to continue the service, but development of the epidemic is being monitored closely. The City of Helsinki and Helsinki parishes are prepared to quickly restart the Helsinki Helpline again, if necessary.
Helsinki Helpline operated since the end of March as a temporary service implemented by the City of Helsinki and the local parishes to help with the coronavirus situation. Helsinki Helpline gave all Helsinki residents over the age of 70 the opportunity to receive discussion support and affordable assistance with shopping and pharmacy errands.
By the end of August, the Helsinki Helpline service had accumulated 68,000 calls made or answered. At the end of the service, there were only a dozen or so daily calls, while in April, during the strict coronavirus restrictions, there were up to five hundred calls a day.
Read the story of Helsinki Helpline:
Haloo, täällä Helsinki. Editor: Venla Rossi. (In Finnish at the moment, soon also in English)
The Helsinki Helpline operations organised by the City of Helsinki and the parishes of Helsinki also involved several civic organisations, such as the Finnish Red Cross, HelsinkiMissio and the Deaconess Foundation, as well as numerous volunteers and business partners. HOK-Elanto, Yliopiston Apteekki and the member pharmacies of the Association of Finnish Pharmacies supported the assisted shopping and pharmacy errands. The call centre contact system was provided by Genesys. In transport and logistics, Helsinki Helpline’s partners were Posti and Logisnext Finland Oy, Helkama-Auto and ŠKODA, Renault Suomi, Stara, Dometic Finland Oy, HSL’s City Bikes and F-Secure.
Support and guidance for older people still available
The City of Helsinki Senior Info serves all Helsinki residents over the age of 65 and their loved ones on 09 3104 4556 and at hel.fi/seniorit (in Finnish). Senior Info provides information and guidance on the services provided to older people by the City of Helsinki, organisations and companies.
Via Senior Info, you can also submit a report of concern for a Helsinki resident over the age of 65. You can report your concern by phone or by filling in the report electronically. Senior Info is open on weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm.
The telephone number for the general Coronavirus Helpline is 09 310 10024. The helpline is open every day from 8 am to 6 pm. The helpline is intended for city residents who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus or who think they have become infected based on their symptoms. You can also call the number if you are concerned about the exposure or symptoms of a loved one.
Photo: Paula Virta