The UK is in the grip of a loneliness epidemic, particularly among older people. According to Age UK, 3.9 million older adults see their television as their best form of company.
Researchers from Lancaster University are harnessing the power of technology to tackle isolation They have worked with older people in the South Lakeland area to co-create an app which helps connect older people with their communities.
Mobile Age provides older people with real-time information about public transport, local events, the opening hours of public toilets, daylight hours, weather and parking.
Working in conjunction with colleagues in Lancaster University’s Computing and Communications, the free app has now been rolled out to the community and is available on two app stores.
Professor Niall Hayes, who is leading the research, said: “Older adults are a largely untapped source of smart, sociable people but they are at risk of being excluded from the digital age as they often cannot access the information that others have at their fingertips.
“Rather than isolating them from the digital world, our research looks at co-creating something that works for them – opening up a brand new world of information that should create more social opportunities and a greater feeling of community.”