The telephone: an important communication tool
by Tonia King
Due to COVID-19, our lives have completely changed. Many things we took for granted such as from popping over to see friends for a cuppa or nipping to the shops whenever the urge took us are now on hold.
Now more than ever, communication is important and for many it will be an essential part of maintaining wellbeing and feeling connected to family and friends.
Although newer technology has its place and is certainly a great way to communicate with others, it may not be accessible for everyone nor does everyone want to use it.
I want to recognise what a powerful communication tool the telephone is when used for its primary purpose of connecting us to others.
Nowadays, phone calls are often overlooked in favour of texting, social media and message apps.
Like many others, I have found myself embracing newer technology over the years and own up to the fact that I have been guilty of sending texts, social media messages and emails when, in reality, the recipient probably would have preferred to hear my dulcet tones over the phone.
On reflection, I think I have fallen foul to quantity of contact made as opposed to quality, and I now realise how much more valuable a call is compared to a text, a like or an emoji.
Calls are an easy, accessible and usually affordable way for us to all stay in contact, and can be a real lifeline, now more than ever before.
A call to someone who hasn’t spoken to anyone for a day, or even for some days at a time, can be a real pick me up.
Spending time talking to someone on the phone can show someone who may be feeling lonely, low, anxious or bored that that are valued and cared for.
For those of us with older relatives or know of someone who may having to self-isolate and/or shield due to ill health or being categorised as vulnerable, we can all be a real tonic to their day by picking up the phone and giving them a ring
Why not make a Call Rota to help you stay in touch?
One way you can support your loved ones is by arranging a call rota for someone who may prefer to speak on the phone then through other forms of communication.
By arranging a call rota with family members and friends, this person will have a variety of people to stay in contact with and no one will struggle to find things to chat about
This could be arranged at a time of day when the person needs this support most, such as in the evening or first thing in the morning as a motivation for the day.
Give these organisations a ring if you need support:
Here is also a list of organisations that one can call in order to get the support you need.
If you or someone you know needs support during this difficult period, Big C is just at the end of the other line. Many of our cancer support services are now available over the phone. Give us a ring at 0800 092 7640 (free to call Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
Age UK have a Telephone Befriending service for older people. Through this service, you are matched with likeminded person who is interested in making a new friend, and every week they’ll give you a call. Click here for more information.
Similar to Age UK, Independent Age also a service where you can receive a regular phone call from an Independent Age UK volunteer. To sign up for this service, call 0800 319 6789 for more information.
Samaritans is a mental health charity which has a 24/7 support line you can call if you need help with your wellbeing and mental health. Call 116 123 if you need support.
Tonia King is the Area Centre Manager for Norwich and West Norfolk at Big C.