The telephone rings at 5

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The telephone rings at 5

Setúbal, Portugal
Estágio do Projeto:
Resumo do projeto
Pitch de Elevador (Explicação curta e direta)

Resumo conciso: Ajude-nos a lançar esta solução! Forneça uma explicação dentro de 3-4 frases curtas.

It's a pilot project in Europe for home bound people who like to talk in group and wish to remain socially active and cognitively able.


Problema: Este projeto busca solucionar qual problema?

Ageing at home is the first option for most seniors. Demographic studies conducted recently indicate the existence of a higher risk of isolation and loneliness from the fact that 60% of the elderly live alone or with another elderly person and limited to their own homes (INE, 2011). Nowadays there are different answers for the needs of this population, particularly in terms of providing home services for dependent elderly. However, existing services are primarily targeted to the needs of basic and instrumental daily life and that there are few answers which aims to promote the integration and active participation in the community. Given the current reality, Aging With Pleasure Association developed a pioneering program in Europe called The telephone rings at 5 for the elderly with reduced mobility. The project allows seniors without leaving home, contact with others, discuss different themes and feel mentally and socially active.

Solução: Qual é a solução proposta? Por favor, seja específico!

The telephone rings at 5 enables homebound seniors to debate different topics with each other and remain mentally active. It is a sustainable solution to maintain quality of life and security of older persons in their own housing and urban environment as well to avoid isolation. It also helps homebound seniors who wish to remain socially active and enables seniors to connect to each other in small groups and participate in mini-forums. Socialization and the potential bonds established between participants, even when the meetings are made through telephone, helps people reinforce their social network, increase well-being and maintain their quality of life and security. The project can operate with very few resources and free of charge for participants. This project illustrates that being socially active without leaving home is possible and enables older people to increase their well-being and quality of live.
Impact: How does it Work

Exemplo: Compartilhe um exemplo específico de como essa solução faz a diferença, inclua situações práticas.

This is an example of a women that participates on the project activities. Maria Helena is a 77 years old lady, lives with her husband in Setúbal, Portugal. She is a prod mother and grandmother but feels really lonely and is afraid to go out and fall. Likes to talk and considers her self a good listener. Once she gave us her testimonial about the projeto The telephone rings at 5: "Participating in the activities is very important for me because I can talk to other people, exchange experiences, and learn both with other participants and the facilitators. I like to listen to others and some of the participants have great general knowledge. It's a pleasure to listen to them." She is in this project since May 2012 and continues until today.

Mercado ou Setor: Quais projetos ou organizações estão solucionando o mesmo problema que você e como essas propostas diferem da sua?

There are several organizations and institutions focused on solving problems related to aging, but are primarily assisting the basic and instrumental needs of daily living. The main objective of this project focuses on the promotion of active aging, psychological, emotional and physical well-being of the elderly. We believe that this project will complement existing responses for this population, with a accessible, viable and easily replicable solution on any region or part of the country. As a complement to other existing solutions, the project The phone rings at 5 can still achieve better results with respect to their main and secundary objectives.
Sobre Você
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Sobre Você




Implementer(s) and cooperation partners

Envelhecer com Prazer



Country where main implementer is located

, SE, Setúbal

How long has the main implementer been operating?

Entre 1 e 5 anos

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

"Envelhecer com Prazer" (EcP) is a nonprofit association for social inclusion. At EcP we believe it is possible to grow older with pleasure by actively participating in society. We seek equal opportunities for all ages and especially for people 65 + years old. Our mission is to promote the welfare of senior citizens and encourage their active participation in society.

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Cooperation partner

S. Julião Parish Council


Public body

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

Envelhecer com Prazer is headquartered in S. Julião Parish Council, Setúbal. S. Julião Council provides the facilities and logistical support. It also provides material resources and outreach. In addition it is a partner in all projects for active ageing and social inclusion.

Cooperation partner

Senior Center Without Walls


Organização da sociedade civil

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

The project "The telephone rings at 5" is a pioneer project in Portugal, adapted from a program developed by the Senior Center Without Walls (SCWW) (USA). It was established a partnership to support this project, by exchanging ideas, challenges, new approaches and themes.

Cooperation partner

Public Security Police, PSP Setúbal, Portugal


Organização da sociedade civil

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

Through partnership with the Public Security Police of Setúbal, EcP performs along with this entity proximity visits to people 65 + years old who are confined to their homes, where visitors have the opportunity to publicize the project. Also directs people to the project, when deemed appropriate.

Cooperation partner

Faculdade de Psicologia, University of Lisbon, Portugal


Public body

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

Faculdade de Psicologia (Faculty of Psychology) - University of Lisbon, under the supervision of Professor Rosa Novo (PhD) is a partner in this project by monitoring the project's assessment, particularly its impact on participants' psychological well-being.

Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Health literacy and patient empowerment, Personalized health management, Assisted daily living, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering).

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

With the support of Senior Center Without Walls, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, PT Foundation, Setúbal Parish Council, School of Psychology - University of Lisboa and other local organizations who help identifying homebound seniors who wish to remain socially active, this project can operate very well. They provide facilities, technical assistance and help in solving problems related to the operation of the project. The Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon also gives support on the performance evaluating of the participants of the project, especially with regard to the psychological evaluation. Without this assistance the project would not have such positive results and benefits to its participants.

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

Telephone rings at 5 is a pilot project and results from the adaptation of a telephone programme first developed in Australia and afterwards implemented in the USA. The latter has been recognized and awarded in 2008 by the American Society on Aging and MetLife Foundation and in 2010 received the Jefferson Awards. Was also recognized in 2012 as a good practice within the European Year of Active Aging and Solidarity Between Generations.
The outcomes of the programme developed in Australia and in the US were positive and based on these results we tried to adjust the project to the Portuguese population. With the help of Senior Center Without Walls we try to develop this pilot project, through the debate on the activities to be performed, the target population in question, as well as the operationalization of the project. Through these partnerships, we believe this may be a useful project for the elderly Portuguese, with very positive results, as we can see through the preliminary assessments carried out to date.

Há quanto tempo seu projeto está em atividade?

for 1‐5 years

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

complementary (your solution is complementing existing solutions and compensating their weaknesses while not intending to substitute them)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

The main difficulties are finding participants for the project – this area has lots of elderly living alone but it's difficult to find and convince them to join in (some have difficulties to assume they are loneliness, the majority is depressed and refuses help); and the lack of feedback from our partner’s might be a barrier – all social institutions we contacted like the project but just a few helped us finding participants.
We intend to overcome these barriers through the dissemination of the project in a more effective and successful way with the target population, as well as extending our range of partners, aiming to reach a greater number of seniors as possible to the proper functioning of the project.

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees






External advisers and experts
Others (please specify)
What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

All the staff that composes the team has college degrees, namely in psychology, and work with seniors for some years. Being professionals in their specific areas, they also have the necessary organizational skills that enables them to independently fulfill their role in the project, should that be the case. Finally, the team’s educational and professional background allows all its members to easily communicate with all the participants and understand the well being of each one of them and therefore assess if the participants need any other type of care, namely psychological.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

The project’s structure consists in a senior person (with a Masters in Gerontology) who coordinates the remaining members of the team who directly interact with the participants and coordinate all the project’s activities. All the members of the team report to the senior person on a weekly basis.

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.

€ 10.000,00

National public funding


European Union public funding


Economic return from own products/services


Foundations and philanthropy capital


Single donations from private individuals


Donations from private companies


Crowdfunding platforms


Participation fees


Outros (por favor, detalhe)


Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

The target population of this project are older people (maximum of 20 persons per group) by the age of 60 years or older who present a situation of reduced mobility, isolation and social exclusion. The activities are open for participants of both genders and the literacy level is not relevant.

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.


In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

Setúbal and Palmela, Portugal

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

With "The telephone rings at 5" activities we manage to reduce loneliness feelings on participants, allowing a positive exchange of experiences and knowledge between all the participants. This kind of activities also stimulates memory and intellectual capacity.

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

The purpose, after due analysis of the results of the pilot project, is to expand the project nationwide. It's intended that the gains of this project will reach all seniors with the minimum requirements needed for the project, increasing their integration into society despite being locked in their own homes, making them more active and with better satisfaction and quality of life. Combating loneliness and isolation is another purpose. We believe that living in a more active and integrated society, with respect and intergenerational exchange is possible and essencial nowadays.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

This project illustrates that being socially active without leaving home is possible and enables older people to increase their well-being and quality of live. Participants’ satisfaction is assessed every two months through phone, and psychological evaluation is done when participants enroll the project through home visits. There is a six and twelve months’ follow-up. The last satisfaction assessment applied showed that 87% of participants are extremely/very satisfied with the project. Participants confirmed that the activities have made an positive exchange of knowledge and experiences.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

External evaluation of impacts based on qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, etc.).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Information on team members.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.
What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

1) It's very important for this pilot project to provide their dissemination and new registrations for the participants. Extend the project to a greatest number of people over 65 years will make possible to achieve better results and enhancing the isolation and loneliness not reach them;2) Project sustainability, as a solution for financing and support to the project, causing the credibility and increase the possibility of expanding; 3) Replicability in Portuguese territory, reaching a greater number of elderly with such needs and making society more active and connected intergenerationaly.