Care in the autumn years

Glasgow’s Golden Generation “techs” the next step for older adults

Glasgow’s Golden Generation (GGG), Glasgow’s leading charity for older adults, has released an innovative app to help prevent loneliness and isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The charity has received funding and support through a number of trusts, foundations and partners including Glasgow HSCP, the Scottish Government, SCVO and Glasgow Life to both develop the app and distribute tablet computers to older adults.

Richard Donald, CEO of the charity said,

“At the very beginning of the pandemic we asked our older adults what they were most worried about and what they thought we should be doing to help.

“Covid-19 aside, overwhelmingly our service users told us that their greatest concern was loneliness and isolation.

“With our day centres and other face to face services closed or operating over the phone, those who responded just wanted to be able to keep in touch with each other and our staff.

“However, many of our older adults don’t have internet access or devices so there was a real challenge to find a way of offering support.

“After some discussion with service users, we decided to distribute tablet computers and create a bespoke app for them to use.

“Where internet access wasn’t in place, some of our partners and funders were able to provide individual mobile wi-fi devices to enable this.”

The result of this was the Glasgow’s Golden Generation app which has a range of interactive activities including armchair exercises, Dementia Friendly radio, comedy clips and baking videos.

Group and individual befriending functionality will be rolled out to service users over the coming weeks to offer further support during the winter months.

The app is constantly being updated with new content both from staff at the charity and other organisations in the community.

The charity’s app is Dementia Friendly and easy to use for those who have not used technology before. Each device comes with instructions for setup and support is offered by the charity’s team of Digital Champions who are trained to assist users over the phone.

Tablet recipient and app user Wanda Rychter said,

“Throughout the pandemic GGG have been really supportive; they’ve delivered essentials to my home and phoned regularly to make sure I’m ok.

“I’ve never had a tablet computer before so this is all new to me, but it’s lovely to see the familiar faces of the charity’s staff on the screen.

“Having access to the app makes me feel less alone and helps me keep in touch with the GGG team.

“I enjoy the activities; it gives me something to do and keeps me active during the day.”

The GGG app is now available for both Android and Apple devices. To download, search “Glasgow’s Golden Generation” in the Apple App or Google Play store and register with the charity. You will need an email address to signup, however support to set this up is available. For assistance please contact the team on 0141 221 9924 (option 1).

The charity also has a limited supply of tablet computers available for older adults, please get in touch on the number above for more information. Please note, tablet distribution is being managed in line with social distancing and PPE guidance.

Picture of older adult in front of her door, holding a tablet with icons displayed