Elderhood

ELDERHOOD is a charity organisation aimed at supporting residents' holistic wellbeing in their later lives.

Inclusive
STUDENTS INVOLVED
Hongyu Wang
Deepu James
ABOUT
Designed for the community
Forming intergenerational relationships
China is not only the country with the largest population on Earth, it is also the country with the fastest ageing population, which will become a major challenge for the Chinese society in the decades to come. Practice has shown that intergenerational relationships could benefit both the young and the old. So I think bringing the old and young together helps to re-establish the connection which we seem to have lost in modern society, and helps to feed our innate need for that kind of community.
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What is “ELDERHOOD”?

ELDERHOOD is a charity organisation aimed at supporting residents' holistic wellbeing in their later lives. We work closely with the community and operate a platform that offers personalised services from professional teams and connects different generations living in the same community, creating better communication opportunities for them and encouraging them to start forming new social connections, to help older adults feel more engaged with others and the community when they begin to experience the social loss of family and friends to old age or physical distance while seeing their own roles in society reduced or ignored.

Physical touch points

I prototyped several vital touch points. The first is posters for our staff to post them on the notice board in the community. Next, is the booklet and registration form which people can get from the community service center. Elderhood has its office in the service center and works with them. So, we will verify identities of members and volunteers to ensure that they are all residents of the community. Also, we will use the service center as a place to hold face-to-face events to strengthen buddies’ mutual trust.

Digital touch points

“Living Here” is an existing app that young residents are already using. There are 3 parts relating to our service that need to be redesigned. The first is the rotation banner. We add a link in the banner to advertise our organisation and attract potential members and volunteers. The second is a forum where people could make a request. The telephone operators will help older adults to do this step if they are unable to use it. Once there is a match, they will call to notify the elderly. The last part is a list of campaigns in the community, where we will release our offline events. Users can register what they are interested in through this channel.

Why do we need “ELDERHOOD”?

China is not only the country with the largest population on Earth, it is also the country with the fastest aging population. This is mainly due to decades of falling birth rates on one hand and steeply rising life expectancy on the other. As the ageing of the population has strong repercussions on the economy, it will become a major challenge for Chinese society in the decades to come. In China, most seniors live at home and only 3 percent of elderly people live in nursing homes. That is because: (1) Lack of beds, many people are on the waiting list; (2) Poor individual care; (3) Traditionally, nursing homes are not the first choice; (4) Limited independence for residents in the nursing home.

Opportunities and Visions

How might we nurture the holistic wellbeing of the aged in China while they live independently or only with their companions at home? Practice has shown that intergenerational relationships benefit both the young and the old – they are able to help each other do things that typically would require assistance from another adult. So I think bringing the old and young together helps to re-establish the connection which we seem to have lost in modern society, and helps to feed our innate need for that kind of community.The following opportunities could be developed. Firstly, connect senior people with local individuals who are young, energetic and enthusiastic. Secondly, expand the partner ecosystem to include providers that older adults know and trust. Thirdly, establish volunteer opportunities that benefit retirees, the elderly and society as a whole.

special thanks

students involved on the project

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