Telephone-Based Emotional Support for Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Liora Bar-Tur, Michal Inbal-Jacobson, Sharon Brik-Deshen, Yael Zilbershlag, Sigal Pearl Naim, Yitzhak Brick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Isolation and lockdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbate older adults’ vulnerability to emotional harm. This paper stresses the importance of establishing an ongoing system of distant emotional care by experienced gerontologists as a routine practice, parallel to physical healthcare services. It introduces a tele-based emotional support program for older adults operated by the Israel Gerontological Society during COVID-19. Experience with the telephone-support initiative suggests it to be an effective and meaningful means of providing emotional support to older adults and their families and assisting community caregiving agencies. Policymakers and gerontologists should address older adults’ needs for emotional support and develop effective tele-support solutions in routine times as a promising relief for homebound, frail, or lonely older adults. Tele-based emotional support can substitute for in-person meetings and easily and quickly reach out to many older adults who otherwise would not receive support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-538
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis.


  • Coronavirus
  • ageism
  • emotional support
  • loneliness
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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