Technology helps the over 70s stay in touch with their relatives

22:37 01 April 2014

Mary Walklate

Mary Walklate

Paul Nixon Photography 01473430707 07904296577 datalock WARNING

A pilot scheme to bring social media to the technology-shy is putting elderly people in touch with their relatives.

The scheme has been tested to improve the quality of life of older people with a test group of over 70s .

It is hoped the project can be used to help people stay in regular contact with their families, increase confidence and reduce feelings of loneliness – at a time when national surveys say the older generation are feeling more isolated than ever.

The Mindings App, created by entrepreneur Stuart Arnott, gives users a way to communicate with friends and relatives anywhere across the globe through a simplified Facebook-style approach.

Funded by NHS Midlands and East, it involved giving the app to 30 people over 70 years old and who are not confident with using IT.

Mr Arnott, creator of Mindings said: “In the UK there are 10 million people over the age of 65 and two million of those people have less than weekly contact with a friend or family member.

“Even worse, one million would describe themselves as chronically lonely’. One man who took part in the trial told me he had regular contact with his family. Regular turned out to be once every three weeks.

“Mindings was borne out of this problem. Grandchildren seeing their grandparents regularly is much less common nowadays, and although as a generation we’re all connected through social media, this often doesn’t stretch to our older family members who don’t always use digital technology.

“If the family member lives alone or is in poor health, then lack of regular family contact can make them feel lonely, vulnerable, or even ignored.”

Cecilia Tredget from the East of England Local Government Association added: “What is particularly interesting to us is that 81 per cent of participants reported a very positive reaction to having technology, such as an iPad, made available to them.

“There is evidence that participating in the trial has ‘demystified’ technology, by introducing it in a ‘gentle’ way.”

0 comments

More news stories

Munceys Level Crossing. Fordham, Cambridgeshire

MP Steve Barclay spoke of the possibility of “significant local disruption” if Network Rail presses ahead with closing 19 level crossings in East Cambs.

49 minutes ago
Serial killer Joanna Dennehy

Serial killer Joanna Dennehy has lost her High Court claim that she is entitled to damages for human rights violations after being placed in solitary confinement in jail.

10:59
Ely Police. Left: Molly Curtis and Francesca Galelli

Two Ely teenagers have received an apology from police after CCTV images of them were circulated in connection to a theft in a local store – even though they were nothing to do with it.

10:57
Littleport and Ely Riots Remembering the Riots. Reenactment of the trials faced by the rioters at Ely Courthouse. Picture: Steve Williams.

Crowds gathered at Ely Courthouse on Saturday to ‘remember the Riots’ which happened 200 years ago in Littleport and Ely.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up