Dan Peters 25 March 2014

Facebook-style app helps older people

Older people have reported an improved quality of life after they were given a simplified Facebook-style app.

Initial indications from the pilot scheme run by the East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) suggested it helped users stay in regular contact with their families, increased confidence and reduced feelings of loneliness.

Some 38% of users reported an increase in quality of life during the trial, with 43% saying it had an impact on their happiness.

The app was given to 30 people aged over 70 years old in Cambridgeshire and Central Bedfordshire who were not confident with using IT.

Cecilia Tredget, of EELGA, said: ‘There is evidence that participating in the trial has demystified technology by introducing it in a gentle way and helped people to recognise the potential that learning to use technology has for their lives.’

Jenny Taylor, 73, who lives with and cares for her husband Les, who has dementia, said: ‘My grandchildren are all growing up so quickly so getting regular photos of them is lovely and it means my husband can also look at them even if sometimes he doesn’t really understand.’

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