We are fundraising for Drop-in Technology Support Clinics for the Elderly around Leicester and Leicestershire.
Clinics will operate within existing groups (hubs) such as the over 50’s group, stroke association, widows groups, libraries, parish halls, places of worship, sheltered housing and other groups who meet on a regular basis. We would have demonstration equipment such as Tablets, android TV computers, Amazon firesticks, windows hdmi TV computer stick, mobile hubs and emergency panic phones on show.
The clinics will be operated on planned days in local areas reaching up to 1000 older people per annum. An area will be set aside and timeslots will be allocated to individuals so that undivided attention can be given in order to answer their questions on all things digital i.e. reduce spam mail, getting advice on best internet provider, how to use relevant websites and much more.
We will sit with participants to carry out an assessment, collate information and discuss what they would like to achieve, the issues they face, what technological solution would help them reduce their isolation and loneliness and sign post them to local community groups.
We found that majority of the elderly already have the necessary equipment but they lacked confidence and needed help with specific issues. Those clients taught from the beginning were very quick to grasp the concept and the training.
Our project is much needed because there is an increasing older population and our target audience often suffers from depression as a result of isolation and dependency on others for basic technological needs. These factors can make them reclusive and reduce the level at which they interact with others. This is a vicious cycle leading to depression and can lead to further health problems.
The Internet allows for the streamlining of many processes such as organising and making changes to benefits or pension scheme over phoning or written correspondence. Being able to confidently organise their affairs relieves stress and gives one a sense of self worth.
Some of the impacts we want to achieve are to:
- Reduce Social isolation and loneliness by using the internet, as a method for establishing and maintaining social contact with close and distant friends and family.
- Increase choice, safety, independence and sense of control.
- Improve quality of life
- Maintenance of ability to remain at home
- Reduce burden placed on carers
- Improve support for people with long-term health conditions
- Reduce accidents and falls in the home.
- Improve the quality of life and help older people gain digital independence.
How people and communities benefit from our project
With the UK facing a significant growth in the number of its citizens aged over 65 years and an anticipated 47 % increase by the year 2026. With recent financial cutbacks in local authorities and a focus on self serving, self help, etc. digital skills are essential for all age groups but especially for the elderly.
We have found that there is a lack of technological support for the elderly which would make their lives less isolated and our projects intervention will bridge this gap.
By equipping our clients with these skills, even at a basic level they will be able to achieve things like shopping online, communicate with friends and family via email, Skype or social media. As research has shown, this will lead to better self esteem, save doctors, councils and other organisations time and money as there will be fewer calls for information etc.
For local communities, a strong active older group can be the catalyst for many activities or projects that can help to bring families and others together. We know that our training can have a positive impact, especially in small rural communities where social opportunities may be limited or in communities with a “cultural divide”.