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Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»

Posted on • Originally published at yuridevat.hashnode.dev

"Elderly", a meeting app for older people

This article was originally published on Hashnode for the 4 Articles in 4 Weeks - Hashnode Writeathon. Find the link to the original post below πŸ‘‡.

Elderly, a meeting app to solve the social problem of isolation

Elderly is a meeting app for older people in order to solve the social problem of isolation.

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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.

Loneliness In Older People

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.

An older man is sitting alone on a table drinking some kind of liquid.

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.

Health Risks Of Loneliness

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.

Meet Elderly - A Meeting App For Elderly People

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.

Explanation of simple design regarding color, typography and iconography with accessibility in mind

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.

Explanation of accessible design regarding width and height of interaction buttons

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.

Purpose For Older People

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.

Two elderlies hugging each other in a corn field.

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.

Purpose For Younger People

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.

Holding hands, one pair from an elderly one pair from a young person

Vulnerability

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.


Thank you

Thanks for your reading and time. I really appreciate it!

Top comments (16)

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

This is a really awesome idea for an app! It's got me thinking hard about older folks and the loneliness they experience. Really compassionate idea to create something like this to help the elderly make new connections and build relationships.

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arisingco profile image
Michael Santiago

I second Michael's thought. The elderly people that I've spoken to and gotten to know better when I helped out at an elderly living facility were filled with such wisdom across various parts of life that I found useful and instructive. I believe the purpose for younger users can also include the gaining of wisdom in a variety of topics. Great stuff!

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington • Edited

Oooo that's a really cool angle, Michael!

I like the idea of making it so that old folks can also get connected with young folks to share specific knowledge. It'd be a cool natural way to make it so young and old talk to one another which in turns goes a long way to help break down ageist barriers and build a shared understanding of each other.

Also, so dope to hear that you worked at an elderly living facility. I bet that was a really rewarding and eye opening experience!

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arisingco profile image
Michael Santiago

It certainly was rewarding and eye-opening. Served to show how prideful and arrogant I was. Definitely helped me to listen, and understand that I don't know it all.

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yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»

So true Michael πŸ’œ

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yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»

Thanks Michael.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

Looks nice as a concept (a bit discriminatory though) but there’s a target market problem: as opposed to youngsters older people actually know how to meet people irl and they don’t need a smartphone for that πŸ˜‚

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yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»

Oh no, please tell me what do you mean by discriminatory. This was not my intend.

Well e.g a grandma living in my neighborhood, in a house all by herself, no direct neighbors around to reach per foot, she cannot drive, has weak feet, I wonder HOW she could meet someone. Only when people are coming to her. Or maybe when she would live in the city or in an area with very good infrastructure. And there are many of them especially in country side.

Not everyone wants to go to facilities or can effort them. And her body only gets weaker.

Good that she has her daughter visiting on a regular basis.

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bwca profile image
Volodymyr Yepishev

Lonely elderly people locator is a very desirable application for scammers. How are the users protected from potential dangers? After all being both old and lonely makes you even more vulnerable.

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yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»

Yes, you are right! This app was just an idea for the writeathon, not thought through til the end.

Maybe when sign up with ID or so would be more safe, but in the end we will never know.
I guess there is always bad to good πŸ˜”

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alonedatascientist profile image
alonedatascientist

Was thinking exactly this ..I can practically hear the MS support call scammers salivating.

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k_penguin_sato profile image
K-Sato

very cool!

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yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»

Thanks.

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rajeshkhadka profile image
Rajesh khadka

impressive !! ❀

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yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»

Thanks Rajesh

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alonedatascientist profile image
alonedatascientist

I'm off to make Tinder for old people. Thank you for your inspiration.