Addressing loneliness and social isolation amongst older adults in Kendal and beyond.
Kendal Town Council has teamed up with Lancaster University who have developed an app which aims to alleviate some of the issues encountered by older people in terms of loneliness and social isolation.
“Loneliness can have profound impacts on physical and mental health, and quality of life. For example, loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and people with a high degree of loneliness are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as people with a low degree of loneliness.” AGE UK (2015)
Residents aged 65+ years account for 25.5% of the South Lakeland’s population; the highest proportion in the country and well above the national average (17%).
32,000 older adults live alone and there has been a 36% rise in the number of over 85s.
Mobile Age is an easy to use “one-stop shop” mobile application (or app)which provides the user with information regarding local events, services and volunteering opportunities. It has been co-created with older adults so its function has been designed around what people are actually looking for and in a format that meets with their technological abilities. The idea is that through being able to access this information the user can help themselves to stay physically fit and mentally active.
What does the app do?
“It is difficult to find out what is taking place in all the different villages and in the main town. If I do find out something is going on, I then need to find out how to get there, what the facilities are, what the weather will be and who else might be going.” Margaret, 78
Rather than having to search through numerous websites to find out about events, services and volunteering opportunities, Mobile Age obtains this information from various reliable sources and puts it all in one place. In addition it provides other vital information such as:
- Bus / train times and connections
- Weather information
- Easy to use and navigate maps
- The location of publically accessible toilets
- Sunrise and sunset times
Having all this information in one place reduces the stress and cognitive strain on the user, making it much more likely that they will engage with local events.
Where can I get this app?
You can download the Mobile Age App either from the Apple App Store or Google Play store depending on the device you use.
If using an I phone, search for Mobile Age in the App Store.
If using an android phone, use the Google Play Store or follow this link.
What if you don’t have access to a device that can run the application?
“My family and friends often use technology to find out things for me when I am stuck. They just ring people up or ask their children or grandchildren to use technology for them.” Jack, 80
If you don’t have access to a smart phone or tablet but still want to take advantage of Mobile Age why not ask friends and family members to download the application. They can then use it to keep you informed as to local events and opportunities. This is also a great way to help people who may be some distance from their loved ones to feel reassured that they are keeping physically and mentally active.
We hope to have Mobile Age available in public places very shortly so everyone, regardless of where they are can take advantage of this invaluable resource.
Kendal in Bloom
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