This article was originally published on Hashnode for the 4 Articles in 4 Weeks - Hashnode Writeathon. Find the link to the original post below 👇.
Humans are social beings. Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive.
As we age, however, many of us are more likely to be alone than in our younger years. This makes us vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness - and related health problems such as cognitive decline, depression and heart disease.
Fortunately, there are ways to remedy these negative effects, and I'd like to show you to one of them.
In this article I would like to introduce you to "Elderly", a meeting app for older people to prevent the elderly from being cut off from society by dedicating time to them and bringing them back into a world of warmth and love.
Many people often die alone at home without anyone noticing. They are found days later. They have no one to organize their funeral.
Hundreds of thousands of elderly people live alone, lonely and cut off from society. They often have no contact with family, friends or neighbors for weeks.
People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, including getting older or frailer, no longer being the center of their family, retiring from work, the death of a spouse or friend, or having a disability or illness.
People who find themselves unexpectedly alone due to the death of their partner, separation from friends or relatives, retirement, loss of mobility, or lack of transportation are often exposed to health risks. Social isolation can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and well-being.
In contrast, people who consistently socialize and participate in activities with others tend to live longer because they experience a sense of purpose and enjoyment. Participation in activities allow well-being to increase and in many cases even cognitive functions improve.
Loneliness is often stigmatized. Older people tend not to ask for help, often out of pride. Many people probably also simply find it difficult to reach out to others.
Please keep one thing in mind: loneliness can affect anyone - no matter what age.
Elderly is an application that allows users to easily find companions near them to talk, do activities and spend time together to protect people from loneliness and social isolation.
With Elderly, people can connect with neighbors who are also alone and they didn't know about. With this app, people can get in touch with people of the same as well as any age to take care of each other and just be there.
Users can create an account, specify their location, add some information about themselves such as hobbies or health conditions, and easily find someone who lives near them. No one is excluded because of where they live, or their condition.
The app was designed with accessibility in mind: high color contrast, easy-to-read fonts, large buttons, labeled icons. It is easy to use and does not require much interaction.
The organization behind the app provides a cell phone to older people who don't have one, in order to include them in society.
It is also possible to meet with young people. They can help older ones or be their friend. Many young people also look for elderly people, especially if they have no contact with their own family or if the family has died much too young.
With Elderly I want to offer a simple way to prevent older people from becoming socially isolated and to find their way back into the community.
Meeting other people is not a matter of age or health. Let's all stay connected.
Older people are particularly vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation - and this can have serious health consequences.
Elderly people often live in isolation due to various grievances. This leads to loneliness, which can lead to serious health problems and "dying alone" if no one cares. Regardless of the cause, it is frighteningly easy to feel alone and vulnerable, which can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and well-being.
Someone who is lonely is also likely to find it difficult to reach out to others. There is a stigma attached to loneliness, and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride.
However, Elderly helps people overcome loneliness, even if they live alone and find it difficult to get out of the house.
The project aims to help older people find other older people who may also be alone to connect with each other, meet, do activities (if their body is still able), simply to stop being alone and find meaning in life.
Older users can also connect with younger people, because loneliness is not just a side effect of getting older.
Did you know that 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older is socially isolated? A lack of regular contact with others can affect your health and well-being.
Help prevent social isolation among older people.
Elderly is also designed for younger users. Younger people provide an important link between older people and the modern world. Therefore, it is important that they care about older people and want to meet and support them.
Younger people can also simply make themselves available to take older people to a desired destination, e.g. by car, so that they can meet other elderly people.
And younger people can also suffer from loneliness, perhaps they lost their parents too early or no longer have contact with them. It is important to remember that loneliness can - and does - affect anyone, regardless of age.
Like so many things with good intentions, this app would have a large vulnerability if it were developed.
How do you ensure that older people don't fall victim to scammers? I'm afraid there is no solution for that. Only hope that people don't take advantage of the weak situation of others.
Thanks for your reading and time. I really appreciate it!